Clothing accessible to all body types is something of a rarity in the fashion industry. But Mindy Scheier was inspired to create a clothing line specifically for the differently-abled community, and her inspiration was her own flesh and blood.
According to PeopleStyle, the New Jersey mom and fashion designer’s son, Oliver, has a rare form of muscular distrophy, and because of his difficulty with zippers and fasteners, he was unable to wear mainstream clothing.
“He really felt strongly about being able to wear jeans like the other kids,” Scheier told PeopleStyle. “It didn’t even cross his mind that it wasn’t going to be an option for him. It shouldn’t have to be an option for anybody.”
Thus, out of her son’s need, Scheier’s “Runway of Dreams” was born. Scheier founded the non-profit in 2013 in order to work with designers to create clothing adapted for children with disabilities. Three years later, Scheier scored a collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger to do just that, and the line is already available to shop now.
“They’re very family oriented,” Scheier said of the Tommy Hilfiger brand. “They’re all-American; they represent so many important things within the industry,” she said.
PeopleStyle says Scheier “immediately began working with the brand’s technical design team to replace zippers and buttons with MagnaReady, a magnetic system, adjust pant and arm lengths and develop alternative ways of getting in and out of clothing,” all in an effort to make the clothing more accessible to children with disabilities.
Gary Sheinbaum, the CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Americas said in a statement that although the brand has always tried to embrace the diversity of their customers, “Runway of Dreams helped further our understanding of the differently-abled community’s unique needs, and with this knowledge, we hope that we will be able to better serve them.”
Although this is Scheier’s first collaboration, she is not considering who she’ll work with next; she is merely hoping that the current collaboration will inspire other brands to follow their lead.
“Honestly, the amazing thing about the differently-abled population is that it knows no age and it knows no socio-economical background. So I really don’t have a dream brand,” she said to PeopleStyle. “My dream is that everybody has a brand that works into their life and that no matter where you are in life in terms of what you can afford I hope that there’s an adaptive option out there for them.”