Among the many events affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic is the iconic New York Fashion Week, which had to undergo big changes this year.
But even though organizers opted for a virtual show this September, it went down in history as one of the most inspiring — and inclusive!
On September 14, more than 25 differently-abled models rocked the runway at home in a virtual show for The Runway of Dreams Foundation. The nonprofit is on a mission to include models of all abilities in the fashion industry, so when New York Fashion Week faced cancellation, Runway of Dreams founder and CEO Mindy Scheier saw the opportunity to make an impact.
“We have been able to touch people from around the world that we haven’t been able to have on our runways and now we can. So a pandemic certainly wasn’t stopping us,” Scheier told People.
The show featured adaptive clothing and shoe lines from Tommy Hilfiger, Zappos, Target, Kohl’s, and Stride Rite, bringing the five brands together on the same runway for the first time! What’s more, Tommy Hilfiger became the first big-name designer to create an adaptive clothing line!
As a father of children with special needs, Hilfiger understands the struggles that come with zippers and buttons. So, he designed the clothing with them in mind, making it easy to wear and put on.
“These people have been disregarded for so long and now they have an opportunity to wear something that is cool and wear something that is either stylish or on-trend or of the moment,” Hilfiger said. “It changes their whole attitude in life because it gives them a feeling of confidence.”
The event is close to Scheier’s heart as well. Her son, Oliver, has muscular dystrophy, and she couldn’t be happier to help make a difference for him.
“To know that my son is going to grow up in a world that includes him — that believes that people with disabilities are just as important — to know we have a little bit of history in making that change happen is truly indescribable,” she said.
What a great way to bring more representation to the fashion industry — not to mention more clothing options to people who need them! This year is shaping up to be New York Fashion Week’s best ever!
Check out the entire show in the video below, and share to celebrate the strides it’s making toward a more inclusive world.
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