Accessibility January 4, 2020
Fashion trends disabled people can look forward to in 2020
There’s no doubt that 2019 was a great year for adaptive fashion with many leading brands coming up with clothing specifically designed for disabled people. In India too, there were some promising developments with new designers making the case for adaptive fashion.
For disabled people worldwide 2019 was a promising year with many fashion brands designing for people with disabilities and chronic conditions. There is newfound awareness about inclusive design globally with the launch of clothes with elasticated waistbands and magnetic fastenings.
Tommy Hilfiger was the first mainstream brand to go adaptive with some cool stylish lines for disabled people. In September 2019, it launched its latest Tommy Hilfiger X Zendaya collection with 10 adaptive styles.
Nike launched Air Zoom Pegasus 35 FlyEase trainers in the United Kingdom. This allows users to wear the shoes with one hand. The shoes come with a wraparound zip at the back that connect to cables that tighten laces.
Start-Ups designing for disabled people in India
Among the promising designers to watch out for in India is Soumita Basu. This Kolkata-based designer will launch her brand Zyenika Adaptive Wear online very soon. Soumita was motivated to start designing fashion for disabled people after loss of mobility led her to realise how inaccessible readymade fashion is for disabled people.
Currently, Soumita is concentrating on fashion for women and children. She plans to start designing for men in 2021.
2020 will see the launch of my website which will have readymade wear in Indo-Western and Western wear. We will continue to design sarees, but these will not be online but customised. By August this year, we plan to launch adaptive panties and bras and incontinence panties. – Soumita Basu, Founder, Zyenika Adaptive Wear
Soumita says the response to her line has been mixed so far. “That is one of the reasons I am launching my line in a staggered manner. There is certainly a need for adaptive wear. People just have to get used to the idea”.
Zyenika’s designs have attracted attention from many non-disabled women too and this makes Soumita happy. “One of my aims in launching this was to design clothes that are attractive for everyone to wear and that is already happening with so many non-disabled people showing interest”.
Another designer much in demand is Shalini Visakan, who caters to disabled men and women at her boutique Suvastra Designs in Chennai. From the placement of zippers, use of Velcro and pressing buttons, Shalini has small touches to meet everyone’s needs. Her clients include disabled people as well as the elderly.
“It’s a new concept in India and will take time to reach people”, says Shalini. “People who are using it are very happy and comfortable using it. The adaptive saree has been a great hit, not only among differently abled people but also old ladies prefer this since it’s easy to wear”.
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