When it comes to fashion lines, you don’t tend to see a lot of name brand designers coming out with special lines for disabled people. Tommy Hilfiger looks poised to change that.
In many cases, people with relatively limited physical abilities are not the focus of many clothing designers. It’s a common complaint of those who desire to be fashionable but need clothes that fit their challenges. Often, those desires, unfortunately, do not intersect.
Hilfiger’s line, however, will come equipped with magnets, Velcro and other design elements that make the clothes easier to get on and off, a particular request for those with physical challenges. In total, the line offers 37 styles for men and 34 styles for women … and hope for everyone with a disability as well as their caregivers. While the clothes may be shirts, pants, dresses, and jackets, the real breakthrough is that this new line could be the first of many for people who get around differently than other folks.
In a statement, Hilfiger offered his take on the reason for the new line, a motivation many hope will catch on with other brands: “Inclusivity and the democratization of fashion have always been at the core of my brand’s DNA… These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion.”
This is actually the second time the Tommy Hilfiger brand has addressed clothing for customers with out of the mainstream needs. Last year, the company debuted a line of clothes for kids with disabilities as well. That effort was well received by both customers and nonprofits that work with disabled kids.
The new line, though, has advocates very excited. They say, for many people with disabilities, finding clothes that fit, as well as those that are easy to get on and off, is a trial. Fashion, if it’s even a concern, is considered a luxury that has to be created piecemeal. And, now that one major company has taken this leap, advocates hope that others follow suit.
Many in the community feel these types of clothes should be much more accessible, rather than such a headline-grabbing development. That reality may be a long time coming, but the speed at which it becomes more real will depend a lot on how well Hilfiger does both getting the word out and actually selling clothes. If the company does well, it’s a cinch that others will copy their initiative, sooner, rather than later.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a top 15 US PR agency. The company recently established a special practice area for cybercurrency companies.