Quantum Rehab, known for its consumer-inspired complex power wheelchairs, will play a small but historic part in an exhibition celebrating women fashion designers at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.

The exhibition titled Women Dressing Women highlights the creative and artistic legacy of more than 70 womenswear designers from The Met’s permanent collection, spanning from the turn of the 20th century to the present day. The exhibition recently debuted and held its opening reception on December 4. The show is now open at The Met Fifth Avenue until March 3, 2024.

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Among the many striking designs is a bodysuit by Hillary Taymour, which Aaron Rose Philip previously modeled on the runway. Philip has cerebral palsy and uses a Quantum Edge 3 power wheelchair with iLevel. Working with representatives from The Costume Institute in anticipation of the exhibition, Quantum manufactured and loaned an Edge 3 powerchair that matches the exact specifications of Philip’s chair.

Philip helped design her mannequin in collaboration with the Museum and Window France, which was placed in the chair. The display represents a milestone for The Met.

“I think it’s incredibly significant and important to be able to present fashion in this way,” said Mellissa Huber, associate curator of The Costume Institute. “We’ve never represented disability in this manner or included a wheelchair in any of our prior exhibitions. I hope that when visitors come through the galleries and they see that type of representation, and they see creativity and beauty being linked with diversity, that they’ll be inspired and that it will really illuminate the point for them that fashion is for everyone.”

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Huber added: “We’re so grateful to everyone at Pride Mobility and Quantum Rehab for loaning the chair, and to Aaron Rose Philip, Collina Strada, Community New York, and Window France for their collaboration on this exhibition element. This is a historic moment and we’re incredibly excited about it.”

Mary Cabarle, manager, clinical education & marketing liaison for Quantum, assisted The Costume Institute with the delivery, operation, and arrangement of the powerchair. She attended the exhibition’s opening reception, joined by A.J. Donatoni, public relations & communications specialist.

“What an honor it has been to be able to contribute to the Women Dressing Women exhibition! The team at The Met has been so committed to making the power wheelchair as close to Aaron Rose’s as possible,” Cabarle said. “Quantum was thrilled to have been able to be part of this! Aaron Rose said it best herself: ‘I used to come to The Met and now I’m being featured in an exhibit and see someone that looks like me.’ The representation of power mobility in such a prestigious museum as The Met helps to increase visibility for those who use power mobility.”

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“We are very excited and appreciative to be contacted by The Met to be part of their exhibition, and even more so that they wanted to display a Quantum power chair at the exhibition!” said Jay Brislin, vice president, Quantum Rehab. “An event such as this helps continue to highlight how mobility products can provide functional independence to individuals to help them accomplish any of the goals they have in their lives.”

Originally planned for 2020 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States, Women Dressing Women was delayed three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The show is organized to explore not only how women have been important to fashion, but how fashion has been important to women,” Huber said. “[The show] follows a loose chronological structure, essentially mapping out a lineage of women designers across time and examining their work within the context of four underlying themes that underpin this broader historical trajectory of women working in fashion, which are focused on ideas related to anonymity, visibility, agency, and absence or omission.”

Learn more about Women Dressing Women on the exhibition’s web page, including how to plan your visit. The exhibition is made possible by Morgan Stanley. It opened to the public on December 7 and will be on view at The Met Fifth Avenue through March 3, 2024. Founded in 1870, The Met collects, studies, conserves, and presents significant works of art across time and cultures in order to connect all people to creativity, knowledge, ideas, and one another.

Quantum Rehab is dedicated to being a global innovator of consumer-inspired complex rehab mobility technologies that not only deliver medical comfort, but also the features needed toward overall well-being, serving the entirety of users’ activities of daily living.

Featured image: A mannequin of Aaron Rose Philip wearing a Hillary Taymour-designed bodysuit in the same model Quantum Rehab wheelchair Philip uses seen on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo: Quantum Rehab