May 18, 2021
You can be in the audience (either physically or virtually) for a fashion show of adaptive clothing from IZ Adaptive and Tommy Hilfiger modeled by people you know and celebrate, this Thursday, May 20. This adaptive fashion event is part of the IMMIX Gala hosted by Disabled But Not Really Foundation.
Wes Hamilton, founder of DBNR, always loved fashion before his spinal cord injury, but once he began the new chapter of his life in a wheelchair, he thought his only option would be workout clothes. “Clothing for those with disabilities has always been a struggle. Regular clothes or shoes just don’t meet needs for fit, let alone fashion.” Wes said. He was re-introduced to fashion when he worked with Tan France from Queer Eye. At the end of a complete redesign of his living space, Wes was presented with a closet full of clothes designed by IZ Adaptive that were specifically tailored for him, not only for fit but for personality.
Wes said, “This new wardrobe has been a huge help in expressing myself and my organization more fully through fashion.” His time with Tan and the clothes he received which were tailored specifically for him made him start reimagining what fashion for people with disabilities could look like. It was around this time when he learned of Tommy Hilfiger’s initiative to create adaptive clothing and adaptive fashion. Wes was immediately drawn to their clothing because he was already a fan of the brand. Wes began modeling to bring representation to a group of people who rarely saw themselves in fashion.
He wanted to show that clothing could be inclusive. Adaptations like creating pants with higher backs that fit a seated person better or magnetic zippers that help make them easier to operate with one arm, are designs that can make a person feel more comfortable in their own clothes. People could have more independence. And, they can show the world their personality through their wardrobe. DBNR athletes spend a lot of time in the gym strengthening their bodies, building confidence, and developing independence, pushing boundaries they might have been hesitant to attempt because of limits imposed on them by society.
They may be disabled, and they may be athletes, but they are also so much more. And adaptive clothing can help speak to how they want to present themselves, to tell their story in the way they want to share it. During the fashion show event at the IMMIX Gala, DBNR athletes will be the models, empowering them to be representatives of the communities they serve. They will show the world who they are, disabled, but not really, in clothing that is made for them. IZ Adaptive and Tommy Hilfiger are creating more inclusivity with their clothing options.
Their innovations provide one more way for people with disabilities to have more control over how they want the world to see them through adaptive fashion. Your ticket to the IMMIX Gala will give you the opportunity to see the new lines of adaptive clothing from these two designers, but it will also help raise awareness that inclusive clothing lines exist. Clothing that fits into the mission to instill the underserved “disabled” community, a physically limitless mindset that breeds courage, confidence, and competence. There’s still time to get your ticket to the IMMIX Gala. Will you attend? Written by: Jerri M