Style/ Beauty

Adaptive Fashion Is Here To Stay

British designer Vongai Noreen Ruzive’s label aims to offer inclusive garments and change the fashion industry with innovative designs. Through her siblings, who were both diagnosed with autism, she knows from personal experience how important it is to make everyday products such as clothing accessible and barrier-free. Von Ruz has garnered a lot of attention for her designs like the detachable leather jacket. Each of their products can also be personalized and further adapted – this is easily done via an additional field when ordering and enables women with a wide variety of disabilities to be able to wear stylish fashion pieces. 

4. Chamia Dewey 

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Personal approaches are always the best way to drive change. That’s what British designer Chamiah Dewey thought, too. Through a youth program in 2018, she became aware of how few options the fashion world has for little people. In 2022, in close cooperation with women of short stature, she began to develop the first tailor’s dummy in the form of a woman with achondroplasia. This was followed by a long period of development and product steps, which then led to Chamiah Dewey being able to produce the first collection of her eponymous label. The brand has received several awards for its work to make the fashion industry more sustainable and diverse and presented its designs in October 2022, as part of London Fashion Week

5. Uniqlo

“Made for all” is the motto. To live up to this motto, Uniqlo teamed up with Sema Gedik, the founder of “Auf Augenhöhe” and is working to close the adaptive fashion gap. 

As part of the Uniqlo Inclusive Fashion Project, designs are developed together with wheelchair users.The main focus was on the categories: shirts, blouses and jeans, but also the general awareness of the topic, which was discussed in a panel talk with Sema Gedik, the wheelchair tennis player and Global Brand Ambassador Gordon Reid, and other workshop participants.

6. Zalando 

In October 2022, Zalando set an important example for barrier-free fashion concepts that appeal to everyone who lives with restricted mobility, manual dexterity or sensory sensitivity. In cooperation with the consulting agency All is for All, the company launched adaptive collections consisting of more than 140 styles within its own brands Zign, Pier One, Anna Field, Yourturn and Even&Odd. 

7. Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger wants to promote the independence of its customers with matching clothing. One-hand zips, magnetic buttons, hook and loop closures. But other leg openings and adjustable properties on trousers for prostheses, greaves, orthoses and bandages are also taken into account when designing. There is also a  separate category for this on the website , with clothing for children and adults. Since 2016, Tommy Hilfiger has been working to continuously develop its adaptive collections in collaboration with people with disabilities. 

8. Nike

FlyEase is Nike’s (fashionable) answer to the question of what adaptive styles can look like in sports. As always, Nike is at the forefront as an innovator and announced the release of the hands-free sneaker in February 2021. The “Go FlyEase” sneaker can be worn without using your hands via a mechanism on the heel.

While we’re here, you should definitely have these influencers, fashion professionals and creatives on your radar: 

1.Louise Linderoth

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2. April Lockhart 

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3. Bri Scarlesse 

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4. Fats Timbo

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5. Jonna Ross

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6. Monique Dior Zebedee

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7. Cathy Reay

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8. Gemma Adby

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9. Aaron Rose Philip

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10. Sinead Burke

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11. Melis Gedik

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This article was originally published in GLAMOUR Germany. 

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