Now in February we are celebrating that it’s 7 years since UNYQ was founded. That very summer of 2014 we teamed up with two amazing individuals Alex Minsky and Katharine Crawford both US Veterans.
Alex Minsky a model that got hit by a bomb in Afghanistan that left him with a traumatic brain injury and lower limb amputation. When creating our first cover for Alex he told us that his goal was to illustrate the phoenix rising from the ashes on his body with tattoos, and his prosthetic cover -which he designed – has expanded the canvas on his body and allowed him to complete his vision.
When Alex wears our prosthetic cover, he’s saying, “Don’t look away. Look at me! This is who I am”. In 2014 he stepped as the first amputee ever on the catwalk of New York Fashion Week.
Katharine Crawford who got hurt in Afghanistan an injury that lead to an amputation below the limb, is an actress and a model living in LA. When getting her first UNYQ cover she commented :” It’s like a piece of armor from Asgard, I absolutely love it. People think it’s a unique fashion accessory, like a piece of jewelry you wear on your leg.” See interview
Katherine and Alex pioneered a movement among amputees that brought attention to self expression and body image. A way of the future, a path towards healing both mentally and physically.
A study conducted couple of years ago by Dr. Christopher R. Erbes PH.d. In Psychology at Minneapolis VA Health Care System among over 235 US veterans shows that body image and depression rated in the top 5 category in terms predictors for preventing amputees participating in an active life. Higher than walking and running or prosthetic utility.
Based on that research the Minneapolis VA Health Care System under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Hansen mobilized more resources towards innovation and development of prosthetic wears addressing body image and other issues like balance. UNYQ was approached to collaborate to bring this new technology to life. We are extremely humbled and proud for that but most importantly we are very hopeful that this new collaboration and innovation will take us further to our original vision to humanize prosthetics for veterans and others living with limb loss.
See here the press release about the new collaboration and license agreement