Fashion graduates launch adaptive clothing collection for wheelchair users at LFW
A fashion collection designed specifically for wheelchair users will be make its runway debut on Sunday during London Fashion Week.
The 12-piece collection is the result of two fashion business graduates from Manchester Metropolitan University and one experienced designer joining forces to win the Faduma’s Fellowship national competition, launched this year by the Oxford Fashion Studio. It comes with a £10,000 prize.
Tasked with finding a fashion designer to create a capsule collection for wheelchair users, twin sisters Rebecca and Melissa Everett, who graduated from MA Fashion Business at Manchester Fashion Institute in 2019, and designer Harriet Eccleston were announced as this year’s winners.
The twins were approached by Eccleston, who worked alongside the sisters at Northumbria University while studying Fashion Communication, to enter the competition together.
Their extensive research into the lack of wheelchair-suitable clothing, and their knowledge of how to make clothing adaptive, were instrumental to Eccleston’s design concepts which were selected by the Faduma’s Fellowship Industry panel.
Melissa Everett said: “We had all the research into adaptive clothing, but we didn't have any design experience so together we said we could submit a piece that we could all work on”.
Rebecca Everett added: “I think the fact that we started the project at Manchester Metropolitan and it's coming about now, it's amazing. It's been such a progress and we wouldn't have been doing this if it wasn't for that project”.
The Faduma’s Fellowship aims to inspire designers, educational design institutions, the fashion industry, and the media "to see, acknowledge and embrace wheelchair users”.
Fellowship founder Faduma Farah launched the body and its competition after becoming frustrated in the last decade by the lack of clothing available to her as a wheelchair user. She noted there are currently around 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK, but the availability of wheelchair-user-friendly-fashion is still an overlooked area within the industry.
The winning collection of trend-led adaptive clothing for young people with physical disabilities aims to address the issues experienced by disabled people. This includes offering simple alterations such as using magnetic closures to replace buttons and hooks to replace zips.
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