Aimee Mullins first received worldwide media attention as an athlete. Born without fibulae in both legs, Mullins’ medical prognosis was bleak. In an attempt for an outside chance at independent mobility, doctors amputated both her legs below the knee on her 1st birthday. By age two, she had learned to walk on prosthetic legs.
After graduating high school with honors, she rediscovered her love of competitive sports. While attending the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, she set her sights on making the US Team for the 1996 Atlanta Games, and became the first woman with a “disability” to compete in the NCAA on Georgetown’s Division I track team. Outfitted with woven carbon-fiber prostheses that were modeled after the hind legs of a cheetah, she went on to set World Records in the 100 meter, the 200 meter and the long jump.
After a spread in Life magazine showcased her in the starting blocks at Atlanta, the world took notice. Mullins landed a 10-page feature in Sports Illustrated for Women, which led to numerous invitations to speak at international design conferences. Being exposed to the discourse relating to aesthetic principles, she became interested in issues relating to body image and how fashion impacted standard notions of femininity and beauty. In 1999, Mullins made her runway debut in London at the invitation of designer Alexander McQueen. She captured the attention of the fashion media and conquered the fashion magazine standards by appearing in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Glamour and on the covers of ID and Dazed and Confused.
An influential voice in today’s changing youth culture, she has been named as one of Esquire’s “Women We Love,” one of Sports Illustrated’s “Coolest Girls in Sport” and was celebrated as the “Hottest Muse” in Rolling Stone’s annual Hot List.
Mullins serves on numerous boards and spends much of her time assisting various non-profit organizations, most notably Just One Break, Women’s Sports Foundation and as Vice-President for J.O.B., the nation’s oldest non-profit employment service for persons with disabilities.
Howard Schatz is a world-renowned photographer whose work concerns people, human motion and the human form. His images of dance, published in the bookPassion & Line, of athletes, published in his book,Athlete, and of actors, published in the book InCharacter: Actors Acting, have been seen in exhibitions worldwide.
Schatz’s unique exploration of the human form in the water has led to three extraordinary books of imagery made underwater: WaterDance, Pool Light and H2O. His work can be seen in museums and galleries worldwide. Schatz’s passion for photography has resulted in the publication of seventeen books, and his work has been featured in magazines as diverse as Sports Illustratedand Vogue. He has a regular monthly feature in Vanity Fair.