19/10/2015 08:03 BST | Updated 19/10/2015 08:59 BST

Alleles Is The Brand Striving To Find Fashionable Solutions For Amputees

Amputees are showing off the intricate designs of a company striving to make fashion available for all.

Alleles, based in Canada, aims to prove that covers for prosthetic limbs can be fashionable as well as practical.

Specialising in leg plates for amputees covered in illustrated designs, the company create each product uniquely to suit individual customers.

The project was launched by McCauley Wanner, who thought up the idea at University of Calgary in 2011. Wanner masterminded the idea during exploration into how fashion affects a person's sense of self.

The designs are made to measure for each customer

Despite formulating early ideas in 2011, it wasn't until Wanner combined forces with her business parter, tech guru Ryan Palibroda in 2013, that the project began to fulfill its potential.

Wanner and Palibroda have stated their mission is: "to help amputees express their creativity, individuality and confidence through providing more cosmetic options for their prosthesis.

"Being influenced by the eyeglass industry, we will use fashion and design to transform prosthetic cosmesis from a medical device into a new stream of fashion."

A model wears one of the leg covers

Using covers designed in a 3D computer, Palibroda went on to create the moulds using plastic sheets.

He then fabricated the covers using CNC, a digital process that uses a computer-controlled cutting machine.

The technolgy used means that Alleles can provide a cheaper product for customers. Each made-to-measure item costing around $400 (approx. £250.00) to buy.


On the label's website, Wanner wrote: "When I started the Alleles Studio with Ryan, we were doing what we’ve been trained to do: solve problems with design.

"As a byproduct of that work, our clients and models are seeing themselves in ways they’ve always imagined — or never imagined before."

Some of the intricate plate designs

During an interview with Mashable, Wanner explained: "Everything on the market to date is trying to hide the fact that someone is missing a limb.

"Many products use inexpensive, flesh-tone foam carved into the shape of a human limb, to camouflage the fact that something is missing... It actually does the opposite of what one might expect.

"It automatically applies a stigma to a device, which is what we are trying to remove."

More of Alleles designs can be viewed on the company's instagram page