What do you think of when you hear the term adaptive fashion? A decade ago if you had asked me that question I would have told you dreary clothes all about function and not style. These clothes would fit right in with the misinformed perceptions society has of people with disabilities. Five years ago that began to change when luxury fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger launched inclusive line, Tommy Adaptive, since them other fashion brands launched their own lines and the disabled community’s calls for more inclusive fashion were finally being heard. When I think of adaptive fashion, I immediately think of Tommy Hilfiger because it’s a top brand and top of mind for me, but it is hardly the only adaptive fashion brand these days. So today on the blog, I’m sharing 4 adaptive fashion brands you should know about.
Adaptive fashion quickly became a part of the industry that more brands wanted to be a part of lending an ear to an unserved community of consumers. From brands with specific lines and products for people with disabilities to being inclusive in their marketing campaigns. Adaptive fashion is on the rise…. Hopefully. That being said, let’s get to those brands that have been around for awhile and have products that will make your life and style so much easier.
4 Adaptive Fashion Brands You Should Know About
Tommy Hilfiger: First and foremost, Tommy Hilfiger’s line Tommy Adaptive. This adaptive fashion brand was launched around five years ago and since then several brands tried their hand at adaptive fashion with a single product or line. But I digress, Tommy Adaptive has simple yet cute (if it’s your style) clothes with magnetic buttons as well as velcro or zippers depending on the style. Although I haven’t found anything from the brand that I would absolutely love to try yet. I do have to say I love how they made style and functionality work with their line, proving that style and functionality can in fact coexist, a fact that I feel some are still missing in their inclusive fashion designs.
Izadaptive: This brand first launched over a decade ago, yes, even before Tommy Hilfiger according to article on fashion magazine’s website. However after a few years the brand had to restructure to sustain long term success and relaunched in 2018. Izadaptive offers clothing for men and women with seated and standing frames. At the time of writing this post, the brand has a single collection titled game changer, some tops, dresses, jackets and coats and a few accessories including face masks and blankets available to women. The brand also carries men’s clothing.
Slick Chicks: Slick Chicks is an adaptive bra and underwear line. This brand was started after the founder saw how hard it was for her relative to get dressed after surgery, so much so, she needed help. Slick Chicks offers bras that feature front closures with velcro and zippers. The and underwear with side fasteners to make them easy to put on. The prices of these products are affordable and can easily compare with the prices of other brands. You can also get a few of the brands products from aerie.com
FFORA: FFORA, anagram for Fashion For All, says it all right? FFORA is an accessories brand that creates products for people with disabilities. This brand has cute hats, tumblers, cupholders and attachments for manual wheelchairs along with hands free purses that are not fanny packs. The brand website states that FFORA is “ A lifestyle and accessories brand.A lifestyle and accessories brand. FFORA utilizes the power of functional design and real life experiences to create beautiful products that place the disability at the forefront of design.” As a power wheelchair users at the moment the attachments wouldn’t work for me, but if you’ve been following me, then you know that I love accessories. I’m looking forward to seeing what else they design that I’d be able to use.
Patti & Ricky Marketplace: During my research for this post, I came across the Patti & Ricky website. The website states that is an adaptive marketplace, it features items from Slick Chicks and several other brands. Although you can buy some products from the website, for others, you are redirected to a retailer where you purchase the products. If you’re in the market for some new adaptive options, you should check out this website first to see what kind of products are available in the inclusive part of the industry. .
Juniper Unltd: Juniper Unltd is another marketplace of accessible fashion. There are some brands that I’ve come across that are only available here as they are within the company’s family of brands. This website offers clothes for various mobility challenges such as being in a seated position, easier or assisted dressing, or magnetic closures just to name a few. After looking around the brand’s website a bit, I will say I do also love the blog with content ranging from wellness to style tips.
Adaptive fashion is still in its infancy when compared to other brands in the business, it may be early, but I’m looking forward to seeing what these brands do within the next 5 to 10 years. For now that covers my list of brands you should check, but before I wrap up this post completely there are a few things that I do want to talk about.
- Style & functionality
- Cost of the products
During my research for this post I came across several brands with several different products, which made me wonder how long adaptive fashion had been around and we just didn’t know about it, but that’s story for another time, reading articles and checking out brands, I saw that for those that weren’t strictly medical or for comfort on long difficult days the function was there, but the style was not. If fashion products are made for function alone, the industry will end perpetuating the misconceptions that exist within society about people with disabilities. Style and functionality can coexist, I’ve seen it with some clothing brands and accessories, this subset of the fashion industry needs to move in that direction to help spread the message that people with disabilities can be fun, cute, and full of life just like everyone else.
I am so excited about what’s to come for this part of the industry, but the cost of some of those products make me glad that I have found some workarounds for some challenges that don’t involve me spending nearly if not over $100 dollars on a single item. I understand that businesses have to keep products at a certain price point not only to make a profit, but keep it aligned with the brand.
As the We the 15 campaign points out, people with disabilities are 15% of the population and living with a disability comes with extra expenses. There is no way they would be willing to spend for some of these products, despite the fact that they may need them. Truthfully, I don’t have many able-bodied friends who’d be willing to spend that kind of money on a single item. It seems to me like purchases you’d have to plan for and fashion shouldn’t be like that, at least not all the time. Fashion and means to create your own style should be affordable because everyone deserves to have access to clothes that make them feel amazing.
There are dozens of adaptive fashion brands out there these days, some covering products from head to toe and others focused on a specific product such as FFORA or Ugg. I can’t wait for the day there are dozens more at more affordable prices in addition to the high-end products. I have my eye on the brands I wrote about in this post for cute items though and I’m looking forward to the day when I can add more to the list.
What is your favorite fashion brand? One of these or something else, let me know in the comments