KEEPING IT REAL: Marisa’s Story, Part Three

Thu 22 Jun 2023

KEEPING IT REAL: Marisa’s Story*


By Marisa Conners

In this mult-part series, Marisa Conners shares her story with cerebral palsy and how she launched an inclusive women's fashion brand. Check out Part One and Part Two to catch up. 

How did you get into fashion?

I have always loved fashion in my whole life, and I have a strong fashion sense. I began my interest in dressing up when I was three years old. I certainly love wearing not only everything pink but chic outfits, ‘cause pink is my favorite color. When I was a kindergartener, I started dreaming about becoming a fashion designer and entrepreneur while I was playing fashion games on a computer. Therefore, I discovered that I have developed a passion for designing unique fashion.
In addition to fashion, art, and design are the most particular interests I’ve developed in my life. I used to draw on paper from toddlerhood to high school. I took all of my art classes through K-12. I took numerous fashion design and graphic design classes in high school. At the same time, I learned how to use Adobe graphic design software on the desktop computer. The use of digital technology is very significant for me and it has helped me find a creative voice. Creating art and design on the screen is much easier and better than on paper for me. I also have a strong interest in designing custom adaptive clothing designs for those who have difficulty dressing.

I am a huge fan of popular fashion brands. My favorite fashion designer/brand is Michael Kors because I admire his sophisticated designs. I’ve been collecting MK merchandise since I was about 17. He inspired me to become a new generation of fashion designers.

To initiate my career, I attended college for two and a half years. But I realized that the college didn’t offer classes to fulfill my career aspirations, so I dropped out of college five years ago as the semester ended. It was very stressful for me because I felt upset and depressed about something that happened during my college days. Some months after my college dropout, I decided to teach myself to pursue a career in fashion design, entrepreneurship, and graphic design. Self- teaching was the best decision I’ve ever made. I am so thankful to be able to be self-taught.

I launched my namesake inclusive fashion brand, Marisa Conners, in April 2021, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. My brand provides uniquely fashionable apparel and custom adaptive clothing designs for not just stylish women but those with physical disabilities. It is a representation of my fashionista style and outgoing personality that draws inspiration from vintage, girly-girl, and chic casual fashion.

During the typical process of designing fashion, I use a graphic design software to create fashion drawings and then I rely on a team to construct these designs for runway and sale. I also purchase the right materials for my designs that ensure the garments are finished and ready. You can check out to learn more about my brand and how inclusive fashion works.

You can follow Marisa on Instagram @marisaconners.fashionista, and check out her Inclusive Womenswear Brand, and Graphic Design account @marisaconnersgraphics

*Marisa's story is part of KEEPING IT REAL — a series of personal stories that will take you deeper into the lives of people with CP. Each person makes different choices based on what works for them, and we’ll showcase that — highlighting what life is like for them on a daily basis, what they care about, and the ways CP impacts them. 

The KEEPING IT REAL blog is intended solely to raise awareness about the varied human experience with cerebral palsy and shouldn't be read or construed to contain any medical advice or medical endorsement by Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. Only you and your doctor know what's best for you. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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