First things first: tickets to the September 10th Fashion is for Every Body runway show are now on sale! We worked hard to keep ticket prices low - just $20 - and have designated a large wheelchair section with an unobstructed view. We expect to sell out quickly, Nashville. Get your tickets while they last!
What would you say if I told you the dress I'm wearing is an adaptive piece of clothing? Do you even know what adaptive clothing is?
Adaptive clothing as it exists today is specifically designed to be easier for people with disabilities to put on by themselves or with minimal assistance and wear comfortably throughout the day. In my opinion, it also applies to any article of clothing that has been tailored, or adapted, to fit a specific person. Because of this I tend to use the term inclusive clothing to refer to garments made or modified for people with disabilities.
The market was initially primarily geared towards the elderly and those unable to dress themselves at all. The problem with many of these garments was they all were function and no form. In short, a lot of them were ugly, which is why I've never owned inclusive clothing - until now.
Designers like Izzy Camilleri are changing the face of inclusive clothing forever. Canadian couturier Camilleri has dressed some pretty impressive people - including David Bowie (talk about serendipity!) - so her designs are fashionable and functional. The jersey LBD I'm wearing to one of our fashion show production meetings is longer in the back to prevent it from riding up as I adjust myself in my chair. It's also cut generously to allow for a relaxed, yet shapely fit. But, if you prefer to order a size down, like I did, to show off your curves it will do them justice.
IZ Collection's Fall line is available for pre-order right now, and Winter pieces will be unveiled on August 29th. With a nod towards ungendered apparel, jackets, coats, parkas and more will feature neutral tones in Navy, Black and Charcoals with a stylish, relaxed fit that works for both sexes. How about a Bomber Jacket with hidden zippers at the sides for those with limited upper body mobility that will also look fierce on the able-bodied?
IZ will also introduce a new functionality option in the Sailor jean, available in women's and men's styles. The front on these unzips on each side from waist to thigh, allowing it to fold down. The flat front and zippers reference a military feel to add aesthetics to functionality. What makes these jeans adaptive is they're cut for sitting so they won’t slide down at the back or ride too high in the front.
These are just a couple of IZ's more casual inclusive offerings. Whether you're wheelchair-dependent or not I encourage you to check out their entire Fall/Winter 2016 collection. You'll find a variety of styles from Athleisure to work appropriate to nightlife-worthy. Better hurry, though, some fabrics and styles are limited edition and won't last long. I've already got dibs on something for Fall. I think you're going to like it. I know I'm going to love it.
And, with every purchase, you help make the world a more accessible place through IZ's #Access10 program. Access 10 donates 10% of all purchases towards building wheelchair ramps in communities across North America. If you'd like to know more about IZ's mission and vision for the future check out this video.
As you can see, inclusive clothing has come a long way. Next week I'll introduce you to an amazing young woman who designed some really unique jeans for wheelchair users. Here's a hint: she's showing at the Fashion is for Every Body show next month.