By Laura Medina
CreakyJoints®, a Global Healthy Living Foundation digital patient community for people with all forms of arthritis, presented the Spring/Summer 2021 Tumbler and Tipsy® by Michael Kuluva collection during New York Fashion Week. As a designer with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and CreakyJoints member, Michael advocates for social distancing and following local guidelines to stay safe and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, “The Newest Normal” collection event – filmed in Canada where Michael is residing during the pandemic -- was presented virtually and premiered on YouTube on September 16, 2020 at 8pm ET. Immediately preceding the premiere, Michael participated in a live #CreakyChats on Twitter to discuss the inspiration behind his collection.
As the Spring/Summer 2021 Tumbler and Tipsy® virtual show started, viewers met with arthritis advocate Emily Sirotich, whose sleep is disturbed by pain and is seeking support from the CreakyJoints website. It wasn’t long before she crossed paths with Michael and gets magically transported to the collection presentation. Once there and in partnership with Cherrytree Records, her journey was punctuated by music from global music superstars including Lady Gaga, Sting, Shaggy and more.
“I’m thrilled to bring my COVID-conscious collection to a global audience because being physically distant does not preclude joint celebrations,” said Michael Kuluva, designer of Tumbler and Tipsy. “My new collection was inspired by my desire to inject light, color, and happiness into our world, which may feel smaller as we hunker down to protect each other during the pandemic. When I get dressed in something that looks amazing and feels great, it sets the tone for the rest of my day. I hope my collection inspires self-care.”
"My involvement in the Tumbler and Tipsy Fashion Show highlights the importance of bringing lived experiences into the spotlight. Arthritis advocacy can take many forms, and it is inspiring to see Michael Kuluva showcase the experience of arthritis patients on the world-stage," said Emily Sirotich, a PhD student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada and a member of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, CreakyJoints, and the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance.
The Newest Normal
Michael continues to innovate, filling The Newest Normal with comfortable clothing that is great for lounging around in, but stands out from the crowd with high volume colors and glam touches that will make the wearer feel confident. Always inclusive, Michael’s clothing is easy to put on and many of the collection pieces will have hand-painted, glow-in the-dark details thoughtfully placed to emphasize where people living with arthritis experience pain – on the inside and out.
“The pandemic has upended everyone’s lives, particularly those who are at increased risk because of underlying conditions or living with a chronic disease, like I do. When I need support, I’m glad I can count on CreakyJoints to be there for me. CreakyJoints parent organization, the Global Healthy Living Foundation, jumped into action and launched a Covid19 patient leadership council and support program, available at GHLF.org. Additionally, I can find community day or night on their social media channels, log my symptoms into the ArthritisPower mobile app and participate in their monthly #CreakyChats,” added Mr. Kuluva.
CreakyJoints co-founders Seth Ginsberg and Louis Tharp said, “Every year, we’re surprised and inspired by Michael’s Tumbler and Tipsy collection, which is always inclusive without sacrificing fun or style. We congratulate him on his premiere and look forward to continuing our relationship with him because he sets an important example of how to live and live well with rheumatoid arthritis.”
About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of function in the joints throughout the body, but typically the small joints of the hands and feet. RA can strike at any age and, if left untreated, can cause joint damage and even permanent joint destruction or harm to the body’s organs. RA is an autoimmune disease that is treated typically by a specialist called a rheumatologist. Read more about managing RA in "Raising the Voice of Patients: A Patient's Guide to Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis," available for free download at http://creakyjoints.org/patientguidelines.
About Tumbler and Tipsy
Anchored by the creative mind and brilliant talents of professional figure skater turned fashion designer, Michael Kuluva, Tumbler and Tipsy is not only reworking, redefining and revamping the world of fashion but is taking it over with his sexy yet stylish brand. Tumbler and Tipsy is produced in Los Angeles, CA with colorful collections that are distinctive but never repetitive, chic and classy while being comfortable and versatile. Tumbler and Tipsy is not just a line of clothing, it’s a collection of art, it’s an embodiment of chic fashion in the modern world, and it’s a representation of a lifestyle: fun, bold, luxurious and daring. www.tumblerandtipsy.com
CreakyJoints is a digital community for millions of arthritis patients and caregivers worldwide who seek education, support, advocacy, and patient-centered research. We represent patients in English and Spanish through our popular social media channels, our websites www.CreakyJoints.org, https://creakyjoints.org.es, www.creakyjoints.org.au and the 50-State Network, which includes more than 1,500 trained volunteer patient, caregiver and healthcare activists.
As part of the Global Healthy Living Foundation, CreakyJoints also has a patient-reported outcomes registry called ArthritisPower® (ArthritisPower.org) with more than 28,000 consented arthritis patients who track their disease while volunteering to participate in longitudinal and observational research. CreakyJoints also publishes the popular “Raising the Voice of Patients” series, which are downloadable patient-centered educational and navigational tools for managing chronic illness. It also hosts PainSpot, a digital risk assessment tool for musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. For more information and to become a member (for free), visit www.CreakyJoints.org.
Find us on social media:
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Twitter: @GHLForg, @CreakyJoints, #CreakyChats
Instagram: @creaky_joints, @creakyjoints_aus, @creakyjoints_esp