In a time where consumers are vocal in their condemnation of inequality and constantly pushing for inclusion and diversity, fashion brands are slowly adopting a “Design for All” model.
According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every five adults has a disability in the US. In the UK, that figure is about 13.3 million; which is also about a fifth of the population. From dwarfism and muscular dystrophy to ageing customers with limited mobility who want to remain independent, diverse adaptive lines are required by the fashion industry to cater for the wide spectrum of abilities that exists within society.
The latest retailer launching an inclusive collection is Tommy Hilfiger, which just expanded its adaptive clothing line with a new campaign for Spring 2018 targeted to both men and women. Only a year after collaborating with the Runway of Dreams Foundation to launch the first-ever adaptive designer line for children with disabilities, the American brand presented a collection featuring magnetic shoulder, front and back closures to help pull clothes over the head, velcro brand closures and magnetic flies for ease in wearing pants, adjusted leg openings and hems to accommodate leg braces, and magnetic zippers to enable individuals to zip and unzip with one hand.
Supporting the representation of disabled people in mainstream fashion media, the campaign stars multiple disability advocates, including blogger Mama Cax, dancer Chelsie Hill, Paralympian gold medalist Jeremy Campbell and chef Jeremiah Josey.
A lot remains to be done by global fashion brands to answer a call for more diversity, but this collection is a great step to broaden the reach of adaptive clothing and promote the differently-abled community in the industry.