Fashion designerOlivier Theyskens has told how his friend - a Paralympian-turned-model who wears prosthetic legs - inspired one of his latest creations.
Aimee Mullins, 37, who broke several records at the 1996 Paralympic Games before taking the fashion world by storm, has had the new Theyskens' Theory Aimee bag named in her honor.
Mr Theyskens, 36, who describes the blonde-haired beauty as one of his oldest friends, said the design of the quilted purse reflects her personality.
HetoldELLE: 'Aimee and the bag share the same qualities: strong yet soft, sophisticated and cool, smart and refined.
'I gave this bag her name as it came naturally to my mind.'
Miss Mullins, who grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and is now based in New York, was born with fibular hemimelia, a rare condition which meant that she had no fibula bones in her legs.
Doctors said that it was unlikely she would ever walk but if they amputated her shins she might be able to learn using prosthetics.
By the age of two she was independently mobile, although bone-growth complications meant that she spent her childhood undergoing successive operations.
She excelled at high school and at 17 shebecame one of three students out of 39,000 applicants across the U.S. to win a coveted scholarship to Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
During the holidays, she was required to work as an intelligence analyst at the Pentagon, where she found herself the only woman in a department of 249 men.
Although the scholarship guaranteed her a job for life, after a couple of years she decided to give it up and concentrate on athletics instead.
In 1996 she madethe U.S. team for the Paralympic Gamesin Atlanta, Georgia.
Record-breaker: Miss Mullins competes in the 100m heat during the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta, Georgia
Wearing carbon-fibre prosthetics she set world records for the 100m and 200m sprints, and she still holds the Paralympic amputee record for the long jump.
Marking yet another direction in her career in her early twenties she entered the world of modeling.
'I gave this bag her name as it came naturally to my mind...She is an inspiration always'
Celebrating her unique difference he gave her a pair of carved wooden boots to wear instead of prosthetics.
However when pictures of her hit the press she was hailed as ‘the new disabled supermodel’ - a label which she loathed.
Ever since she made it her ambition to shed the disabled tag and in an interview withYou Magazine in 2011 she declared: 'And now it has happened.'
Strong and sophisticated: The Aimee handbag - seen in this Theyskens' Theory advert - was inspired by Aimee Mullins who had both legs amputated below the knee when she was a year old
That year she was appointed global ambassador to L’Oréal Paris, joining stars such as Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Eva Longoria and Cheryl Cole.
She has also starred in a number of film and television titles over the years.
Mr Theyskens, who is regularly photographed at industry events with Miss Mullins, explained:'She is an inspiration always, and I cherish our friendship.'
'It’s the perfect day-to-cocktail bag for the girls,' Mr Theyskens added.
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2268246/Paralympic-runner-turned-model-broke-records-prosthetic-legs-gets-new-designer-It-bag-named-honor.html