The Academy of Art University Focuses on the Fashion Needs of the Disabled

Earlier this year the Academy of Art University encouraged their students to think outside of the box to create designs that were inclusive for those with different disabilities. Most people don’t consider the challenges that disabled people face when it comes to fashion but it’s a problem that they face every single day. For those in wheelchairs who remain seated for most of the day, the zippers and other features on clothing could cause discomfort throughout the day. In addition, the way that clothing hangs is completely different than those with full mobility.

The participants from the Academy of Art University were given ideas by panelists about the problems that the disabled face when it comes to their fashion choices. They also offered information about the advances that were being made in the industry to increase inclusivity. The day of discussion featured topics covering what these designers could do to integrate elements into a design that would make them universally wearable. It’s time that the fashion industry as a whole started to view those with disabilities as real customers when it comes to their work. These panelists were all people who live their lives with their own disabilities and have an interest in accessible fashion from both necessity and passion standpoints.

While the designs being featured from this project may not ever reach the red carpet, but they will certainly impact the lives of those who need them. An alumnus of the Academy of Art University who faced her own disability, Stephanie Thomas, was excited about the project as she runs her own fashion company that caters to the differently abled, Cur8ble. She promotes adaptable fashion that helps to empower those living with physical challenges or disabilities. First and foremost, those with disabilities are individuals with their own needs.

The Academy of Art University was founded in 1929 to teach students about the art of advertising. It was founded by the magazine editor and painter Richard S. Stephens who led the school until his Richard A. Stephens took over the position in 1951. In 1992, he was replaced by Elisa Stephens, his daughter, who still holds the title.

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