December the 3rd is the International Day of People with Disability, and 2020 marks 28 years since the observance was established by the United Nations. While Australian society is friendlier to disabled people than it’s ever been, things are still tough for disabled Australians, and many Aussies struggle with the stigma.
Something that most people don’t think about is how having a disability affects the way you dress. If you’re missing a hand or have a neuromuscular disorder like ALS or muscular dystrophy, finding clothes that are easy to put on that don’t look dumpy can be a real challenge.
One Australian start-up hopes to change that. EveryHuman, Australia and New Zealand’s first online adaptive fashion retailer, aims to bring independence and confidence to the daily act of dressing, enabling people to wear clothes that make them feel empowered. 2020 has seen them team up with iconic fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger to bring a special capsule collection to the Antipodes in perhaps the coolest fashion release of the year.
The Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive collection features the same classic American cool with a twist designed with subtle modifications including easy closures, seated-wear solutions and fits for prosthetics. The collection is also free from uncomfortable pockets and seams.
“I learned through having children with special needs how big an impact Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive can have,” Tommy Hilfiger – the man himself – relates.
What’s so cool about the collection is how stealthy and practical it is. Classy touches like stunt buttons over the top of magnetic openings; one-handed drawstrings and zippers; wide leg and back openings… Tommy Hilfiger has clearly gone to a lot of care with this collection, and it’s the perfect edition to EveryHuman’s burgeoning lineup.
Hell, the design features are so smart that we can see even non-disabled Aussies getting around it. For example, button flies on denim jeans suck – a magnetic fly is much better, and are less likely to make you look like you’ve got a bumpy crotch. We back them strongly.
Over 5 million Aussies and Kiwis live with a disability. Not all of those are visible either – just because someone’s not in a wheelchair doesn’t mean they’re not disabled. And everyone likes to look their best. While clothes might seem trivial at the end of the day, EveryHuman and Tommy Hilfiger are doing something invaluable: helping people reclaim their dignity. They should be applauded for their work, and other Australian brands should take note. It’s high time more fashion brands started paying more attention to differently-abled people.
You can find the Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive collection on EveryHuman’s online store here.