Blue jeans are a wardrobe staple, but Oliver Scheier, a 10-year-old New Jersey boy, couldn't work the closures, couldn't squeeze his legs into them if he wears the braces he needs to walk safely and usually had to go to school in baggy sweatpants.
Oliver has a rare type of muscular dystrophy, and it was his desire to dress like his classmates that launched his designer mom, Mindy Scheier, on a quest to make it possible. According to Huffington Post, she started a foundation called Runway of Dreams and recruited Tommy Hilfiger to collaborate on accessible clothing. He has created a clothing line for kids who have disabilities.
The adaptive clothing uses washable magnets and other types of closures and design techniques so that the kids can more easily get dressed in styles that look like clothing that their peers wear.
According to Huffington Post's Caroline Bologna, "Through Runway of Dreams, the mom created a clothing challenges survey that was vetted on Facebook. 'We literally got answers from all around the world pertaining to all different types of disabilities,'" Scheier told her.
Bologna wrote that "the feedback showed consistencies in the clothing challenges the responders faced. The three main categories were closures (like buttons, snaps, zippers), adjustability (with waistbands, pant and sleeve lengths), and alternative options for getting into the clothing (for example, entering from the back instead of over the head)."
Scheier told her the "biggest challenge" will be convincing others how great the need is for such clothing, something she believes is possible because there are millions of children and young adults with disabilities that make wearing unmodified clothing difficult. Her dream, she said, is to have adaptive clothing available in regular retail shops so that it's not hard to find and buy.
The Ashbury Park Press reported that "Runway of Dreams also premiered a mini-documentary, featuring model Jillian Mercado, former Rutgers University football player Eric LeGrand and other individuals and children with disabilities."
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