Smashing Stereotypes, One Design At A Time



19-year-old Isabella Springmuhl, a fashion designer with down syndrome is giving her contemporaries a run for their money. Her fabulous line of colourful designs will brighten your day and give you all the inspiration you needScreenshot 2017-03-03 21.52.47.jpg


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Designing clothes, designing life.

Rejected from pursuing designing in University due to Down syndrome,  her unwavering courage and determination towards her passion earned this Guatemalan designer a place in the BBC 100 Women list of 100 most influential and inspiring women of 2016.


She has turned the fashion school ‘no’ into a big ‘yes’ and how! Her optimism and strong belief are reflected in her vibrant clothes inspired from traditional Guatemalan textiles.

“Everything around me, colours, flowers, birds inspires me. I am a happy person, I want everyone to wear something that makes them feel happy”

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She has turned the fashion school ‘no’ into a big ‘yes’ and how! Her optimism and strong belief are reflected in her vibrant clothes inspired from traditional Guatemalan textiles. Speaking to Sociomartini, she shared her endless love towards her work, source of inspiration and her future plans.

We can guarantee that she is one of the most inspiring designers you will ever come across.

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Her passion and inspiration behind her marvellous creation is a culmination of the rich culture and heritage she hails from

“I have been inspired by the colours of our textiles, because they are inspired by nature, by years and years of culture transmitted in woven textiles. This inspires me to create couture for persons with down syndrome like me”

She designs clothes which do not discriminate among body sizes and look good on everyone

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She loves to showcase the textile, texture and accessories of Guatemala as it reflects the history of her culture. Doing so, she loves to play with the old and the new and incorporates fringes, pompons and a mix of various colours in her designs
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Designing runs in her blood

“My Grandma was a very known designer about 32 years ago and I want to continue that heritage and to start a brand of my own. Xjabelle was the name of my Grandma’s boutique and I added down as I have down syndrome, thus Down to Xjabelle”

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Her role model is her mother Isabel, an artist, who works by her side ever since she started designing 2 years ago. She was always sure she wants to be a fashion designer and loves Coco Chanel and Oscar De La Renta as most of their designs are fun and colourful, like hers.

“My mother says when i was a child, I used to trace designs from magazines and make clothes for my rag dolls using pins. I do not care anymore about my rejection from University, I am learning to cut and sew and I am really good with my sewing machine “

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For aspiring fashion designers or those fighting against personal and societal inhibitions, she has a strong message

“Never give up! Keep trying and never accept a no. It may take us longer to do the things everyone does but we can do it even if it takes us twice the time and effort. We can do it!”

10 years down the line, she wishes to be a name to reckon with as a fashion designer and continue designing for people with down syndrome, adults and even design for dogs. She wishes for Celine Dion, Ricardo Arjona, Lily Collins, Andrea Bocelli and Princess Kate Middleton to wear her designs.

“My wildest dream will be to know Dolce and Gabbana and design with them” 

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We wish you all the very best Isabella!

Visit Down to Xjabelle for more

Special thanks to Isabel (Isabella’s mother) for translating on behalf of Isabella

Picture Credits- Instagram (@down2xjabelle)

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