Specializing in the re-branding of disability

The Bez Graniz Cultural Centre helped to find solutions for people with disabilities that help to make the world more convenient for those who really need it.
Disability does not need a ramp, but access to new technologies and unexpected opportunities.
Bez Graniz (Russian for "Without Borders") started as a private initiative in 2008 and was active over 10 years. Over time the organization had become a leader in skills improvement and the employment of disabled professionals. We also conducted sports master-classes and marathons, and organized international conferences on creating an accessible environment.

Significant and sustainable change in the quality of life for the disabled and their families and friends (about 18% of the world population according to WHO 2015) needs a systemic and wholistic approach.

From the very beginning of our work, we paid attention to adaptive clothes, and in 2011 and 2012 we conducted the first ever international contest for designers of clothes and accessories for people with disability.
Raising awareness and educational activities
We inspired future fashion sp­ecialists to perceive adaptive clothes ­as part of a new direction for th­eir work and invite leading specialists in this­ sphere to share their experience
Since 2010, Bezgraniz Couture had been organizing annual scientific-practical conferences and round tables about the creation of clothes for people with disabilities. Our participants were international professionals from leading universities as well as international educational bodies.

In 2014, we offered the British Higher School of Art & Design in Moscow an educational course on designing clothes for people with disabilities as part of their fashion design curriculum. The collections created by the students were presented on the runways of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and Los-Angeles Fashion Week.
Professional promotion of adaptive topic
An important outcome of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia 2014 and 2015 is that these shows not only promote awareness among the general public, but they have helped to develop professionals from different areas who are helping to create momentum for the emerging fashionable adaptive industry.
At corporations, universities and city festivals, TEDx we conduct workshops on designing clothes for people with disabilities, and deliver lectures on the topics of "Rebranding of Disability".
A milestone in our work to rebrand the image of people with disabilities is the photo-project "Acropolis: How I Found My Body". As part of the city festival, people with disabilities, well-known Russian writers and opinion-makers also took part in the artistic-public project "Extraterrestrials".
"Bez Graniz" is the Russian representative of the international project for social entrepreneurship, Dialogue Social Enterprise. Our project "Dialogue in the Dark Moscow" is a business workshop in complete darkness run by blind trainers.
Research
Bezgraniz Couture commissioned new research "People with disabilities ARE consumers of fashion products and services" (2015)
Until this report, there was no comprehensive research of the disabled market as fashion consumers. According to the estimated data we have, people with disabilities throughout the world are active consumers in the fashion market. However, existing products do not offer adequate goods and services, nor accessibility for shopping. What the research revealed is that this untapped market is equal to the size of China.The report was provided/conducted by the School of Art&Design at the Nottingham Trent University UK and supported by Burda Style International.
Collaboration with our customers and partners having disability at every stage of our work was obligatory. We invited people with disabilities as employees, experts in educational programs, participants/models in fashion shows and special projects, and designers of advertising and marketing materials
Why Fashion?
Disability today is a lifestyle that challenges people who live it every day to master their own environment and the world that surrounds them.

Comfortable clothes help us to be more confident and to achieve success. Moreover, a stylish well-dressed person with a disability changes perceptions more successfully than many social campaigns. Clothes are a gateway to inclusion that allows people with disabilities to more naturally integrate into society.

UNO Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that the necessary inclusion of people with physical or mental disability will be achieved when states, industries and communities will change their attitude towards this socially marginalized group and will offer them the necessary goods and services which will include them into public and market processes. This includes the world of fashion. Though more than 200 artisan and small businesses worldwide produce clothes for people with disabilities, only a few produce goods that provide the physical and emotional comfort that truly meets the needs of this unique market. Bezgraniz Couture is here to fill that void.
Founders
Janina Urussowa
Janina is one of Russia's leading experts for social advertisement and PR as well as social innovation and NGO related topics. She is a dedicated social entrepreneur, motivation speaker and TEDx speaker. She initiates socially relevant projects with the aim to change the perception in society in regards to PWD. Janina was shortlisted as "Humanitarian of the Year 2014" at "THE MOSCOW TIMES AWARDS 2014", the Ernst and Young Award Business Woman 2016 and was rewarded the title "Person of Culture" at the "The Best Social Projects in Russia Award ". She has been a member of the Council on Disability under supervision of the President of the Russian Federation. She is dedicated member of Rotary International where she is Paul Harris Fellow. Janina graduated from University for Architecture in Moscow and received her PhD at the Ludwig Uhland Institute of European Anthropology at the University of Tubingen (Germany). She worked at an international corporation as Head of Corporate Communications in Russia.

Janina is co-founder of NP Cultural Center "Bez Graniz | Without Borders". The Bezgraniz Couture project had been developed under this umbrella from 2008 until August 2018.
Tobias Reisner
Tobias worked more than 15 years for an international electronics corporation in senior executive positions in different countries. He developed an interest for fast growing and fast changing emerging markets, which keeps him attracted until today.

For many years Tobias has also been engaged in entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship and founded several startup companies focusing on different social activities closely related to people with disability. In 2012 Tobias opened the international franchise branch of Dialogue in the Dark in Russia creating jobs for visually impaired people and offering a wide range of professional trainings in complete darkness to top executives in Russia. In 2019 he initiated the unique immersive Musical – LIGHT INSIDE in complete darkness as a world premiere an Edutainment project that erases the boundaries between non-sighted and sighted world.

Tobias joined the Rotary Club in 2005 where he held several board positions. He is Paul Harris Fellow and does actively support community projects.

Teaming up with creative individuals he creates the right platform to introduce new concepts on regional and global level.

Tobias is co-founder of NP Cultural Center "Bez Graniz | Without Borders". The Bezgraniz Couture project had been developed under this umbrella from 2008 until August 2018.
Tobias Reisner
Tobias worked more than 15 years for an international electronics corporation in senior executive positions in different countries. He developed an interest for fast growing and fast changing emerging markets, which keeps him attracted until today.

For many years Tobias has also been engaged in entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship and founded several startup companies focusing on different social activities closely related to people with disability. In 2012 Tobias opened the international franchise branch of Dialogue in the Dark in Russia creating jobs for visually impaired people and offering a wide range of professional trainings in complete darkness to top executives in Russia. In 2019 he initiated the unique immersive Musical – LIGHT INSIDE in complete darkness as a world premiere an Edutainment project that erases the boundaries between non-sighted and sighted world.

Tobias joined the Rotary Club in 2005 where he held several board positions. He is Paul Harris Fellow and does actively support community projects.

Teaming up with creative individuals he creates the right platform to introduce new concepts on regional and global level.

Tobias is co-founder of NP Cultural Center "Bez Graniz | Without Borders". The Bezgraniz Couture project had been developed under this umbrella from 2008 until August 2018.