If you have a child with a disability, you’ll know that what seems like a simple task to many can pose a huge challenge for them. From holding a cup, to brushing teeth, to using a remote to turning doorknobs, you know some manual tasks can be tough. So imagine how difficult it can be to put on a pair of jeans or fasten the buttons on a dress. Most kids want to be able to dress in the styles of their peers, but many aren’t able to do so. Tommy Hilfiger is changing all that.
The American designer teamed up with the nonprofit organization Runway of Dreams--which works to adapt mainstream clothes for those who are differently-abled–to launch the first adaptive designer clothing line for kids with physical disabilities.
The collection, available at Tommy.com, features 22 awesome pieces for boys and girls sizes 4 to 20, and the prices are reasonable, ranging from $18.50 to $42.50. The style of tops, pants, jeans and dresses are all signature Tommy Hilfiger but instead of buttons, there are magnetic or velcro closures, as well as adjustable sleeves for those with different limbs and adjustable pant legs to fit foot or leg braces.
Runway of Dreams founder and designer Mindy Scheier started the nonprofit after her middle son Oliver, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, asked her to buy him a pair of jeans.
“He really felt strongly about being able to wear jeans like the other kids,” Scheier told People. “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.”
Scheier trained the Tommy customer service team on the new range, “including the proper language to use when speaking about this specific demographic,” reports Fashionista.
She also pushed for Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive Clothing to be priced exactly the same as the brand’s standard children’s styles. “I didn’t feel our community should have to pay more,” she told Glamour magazine. “It’s a huge testament to Tommy, he absorbed the extra costs — the cost of a magnet is significantly more than a button.”
But Scheier’s dream doesn’t just end with designer duds. She is currently in talks with other brands and retailers and hopes that one day, “there’s adaptive mainstream clothing for every person out there, whether you’re shopping at Walmart or Saks Fifth Avenue.”