America’s leading retailers have joined forces to provide mainstream clothing for children and adults with disabilities through a nonprofit organization called Runway of Dreams Foundation.
Tommy Hilfiger, Zappos, Target, and Kohl are just among the many brands that have started designing clothes which people with special needs can wear with ease.
Their collaboration with Runway of Dreams started with Mindy Scheier, founder and president of the Foundation, who clearly understands how people with disabilities struggle to get dressed every day since she has a son with muscular dystrophy.
Her son Oliver opened her eyes to the needs of underserved consumers of the fashion industry when he told her one day that he wanted to wear jeans to school like his friends. As a fashion designer by profession, Mindy knows how one’s clothes can affect their confidence. So, she got down to work and modified a pair of jeans for Oliver to wear. As soon as he put them on, Oliver looked so happy and felt like everybody else in school.
That inspired Mindy to partner with various brands and create a platform that will give PWDs access to adaptive clothing.
Brands that aim for all-inclusiveness
Runway of Dreams Foundation teamed up with Tommy Hilfiger in 2016 for an adaptive clothing line for children. A year later, Target and Zappos followed suit and launched their own adaptive lines Cat & Jack and Zappos Adaptive, respectively.
Kohl’s is the latest to join the Foundation’s roster of renowned retailers who are seriously working on the inclusion of apparel designs for PWDs in their product line. As early as now, Target has in fact already come up with beautiful Halloween costumes for kids in wheelchairs.
“It’s been such an honor and a privilege to be able to work with these brands. We are hoping that someday adaptive clothing will just be another category in the industry no different than plus size or petite. I mean the fact is that it’s easier to find clothes for dogs right now than it is for people with disabilities. And we know with the support that we’re getting from the industry, that will change.” – Mindy Scheier, President, Runway of Dreams Foundation
The Foundation is excited about the New York Fashion Week on September 5 where around 30 models with different types of disabilities are set to grace the catwalk.
Aside from staging adaptive fashion shows, how else can retailers showcase their clothing designs for persons with disabilities? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or over in our Facebook Group.