Czech Schoolboy Maps His Life From Disabled to Designer

Prague Morning

Prague Morning

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Diagnosed with severe Asperger syndrome, 13-year-old Matěj Hošek has found peace and order in making sophisticated maps which have also been turned into fashion and design items.

Matěj was a noisy child, "crying 23 hours a day," she says, recalling their life in a Prague block of flats where neighbors regularly banged on their walls or, worse, left scratches on their cars.

The family, which includes Matej's little sister Sofia, moved to a house in Cernosice, a small town just southwest of Prague, where Matěj" could cry as loud as he wished".

Then he discovered maps.

He started to copy maps, including his favorite, the London Underground, which he knows by heart, before drawing his own. 

Inspired by a film about the Christian Dior fashion house, Matěj once wrapped one of his maps around a mannequin standing in the living room as decoration.

"I'm a big fashion fan, and I said 'Matej, this is not bad at all'," says the mother, recalling how proud she was until Matěj started to pin the map onto her own body.

Her magazine at the time partnered with Prague Fashion Week and Matěj soon found his underground design shown on the catwalk at a Prague department store in autumn 2016.

"His design is universal, you can put it on anything -- T-shirts, underwear, trainers," she said. 

Building on the success, the Hoseks have started a small family company selling clothes and other items such as backpacks, cups and mobile phone cases with Matej's underground designs.

Part of the income will go towards treatment for autistic children, adding that he would like the company to expand abroad one day.

Matěj is currently busy drawing maps for the Run Czech company organizing public runs in the Czech Republic.

"I'd love to go to London. To take a ride on the Underground."

Author: red

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