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forbes 30 under 30


Izzy Wheels has teamed up with Barbie to create four-limited edition wheelchair covers to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the global doll brand.

The company was created by Irish sisters Ailbhe and Izzy Keane in order to provide customised wheelchair spoke guards, and has gone from strength to strength since it's origin.

The sisters have said their new collaboration with Barbie is "a dream come true", according to RTE. The doll manufacturer launched a new range featuring dolls with disabilities.

Four UK-based fashion designers and artists created the wheel covers, which are available in sizing for any manual wheelchair and in a special Barbie-scale edition for the Barbie wheelchair doll.

Ailbhe said: "Our mission with Izzy Wheels is to challenge negative associations with wheelchairs and let users celebrate their individuality by personalising their source of independence.

"We want to show the world that wheelchairs can be so much more than a medical device, they can be a piece of artistic self-expression."


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Ailbhe added;

"Fashion and fun are at the heart of what we do, and we're thrilled to work with talented designers to pay homage to Barbie in her 60th year and celebrate dolls with even more diversity.

"This is a dream collaboration for us because Izzy and I were huge Barbie fans as little girls."

Izzy was born with Spina Bifida and is paralysed from her waist down, and the company began when Ailbhe designed wheelchair covers for her sister for an NCAD project.


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Izzy told RTE that she was over the moon at the idea of little girls and boys with disabilities having a realistic doll to play with;

"Having a Barbie in a wheelchair meant so much to me as a little girl, and I love that a whole new generation of kids with disabilities can play with a Barbie that represents them."

Izzy Wheels has been featured in some of the world's most noteworthy publications, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan and TechCrunch. 

Izzy and Ailbhe were also the first Irish people to be asked to take over Instagram's official account and were named in the Forbes '30 under 30' list of rising entrepreneurs.

The Barbie-inspired wheel covers are available on the Izzy Wheels website, whilst the Barbie with Wheelchair dolls are available from Irish and UK toy stores.

The covers are €139, with Annu Kilpeläinen, Hattie Stewart, Malika Favre and Art School designing the range. "If you can't stand up, stand out!", as the gals themselves say.

Feature image: Izzy Wheels/Instagram/@izzywheels


It's been a huge twelve months for Saoirse Ronan, and what a way to top it off.

The Irish actress, who's been tipped for an Oscar thanks to her role in Brooklyn, has just been named on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list.

It's a prestigious nod for sure – former entrants on the list include Mark Zuckerberg, Lena Dunham and fellow Irish natives Patrick and John Collison of Stripe.

Forbes noted that Saoirse's performance in Brooklyn had set "critics fluttering," listing her name in the Hollywood & Entertainment category alongside Zendaya, Alicia Vakander, Dakota Johnson and more.

Also honoured on this year's list is Daire Hickey, the co-founder of Web Summit, which this year will move to Lisbon after five hugely successful years in Dublin.

The list mentions Daire's success in "pulling in more that $2 million [€1.8m] in media partnerships for 2015 alone."

Daire started the Web Summit back in 2012 along with Paddy Cosgrave and David Kelly – but this is the first time any of the trio have been recognised on the 30 Under 30 list.

Here's to many more Irish names on the list in years to come.