Tommy Hilfiger Launches First Collection of Adaptive Clothing for the Differently-Abled Community

02/23/2016 at 11:32 AM ET

These days, the fashion industry is making great strides to be more inclusive and representative of society— models are redefining traditional beauty and Madeline Stuart, who has down syndrome, is now a regular on the catwalk. But New Jersey mom and fashion designer Mindy Scheier noticed there was still something missing from today’s market: mainstream clothing that’s adapted for people with disabilities. In 2013, Scheier founded the nonprofit Runway of Dreams to work with designers to create those garments. Today Scheier and her team have reached a major milestone: Their first-ever fully adaptive collection with Tommy Hilfiger is officially available to shop right now.

Runway of DreamsRichard Corman



Scheier started Runway of Dreams because her son Olivier, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, didn’t have the option to wear the same types of clothing as his friends — zippers and fasteners were difficult for him to maneuver on his own.

“He really felt strongly about being able to wear jeans like the other kids,” Scheier tells PeopleStyle. “It didn’t even cross his mind that it wasn’t going to be an option for him. It shouldn’t have to be an option for anybody.”

Runway of DreamsRichard Corman



For Scheier, Tommy Hilfiger was the perfect brand to partner with. “They’re very family oriented; they’re all-American; they represent so many important things within the industry,” she says.

She immediately began working with the brand’s technical design team to replace zippers and buttons with MagnaReady, a magnetic system, adjust pant and arm lengths and develop alternative ways of getting in and out of clothing.

Runway of DreamsRichard Corman



“Our company has always embraced the diversity of our customers,” Gary Sheinbaum, the CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Americas says in a statement. “Runway of Dreams helped further our understanding of the differently-abled community’s unique needs, and with this knowledge, we hope that we will be able to better serve them.”

With a designer as well-known and recognized as Tommy Hilfiger for Runway of Dreams first collaboration, Scheier is hoping that more brands will want to create adaptive clothing. Still, she’s not focused on who she’ll collaborate with next.

“Honestly, the amazing thing about the differently-abled population is that it knows no age and it knows no socio-economical background. So I really don’t have a dream brand,” she says. “My dream is that everybody has a brand that works into their life and that no matter where you are in life in terms of what you can afford I hope that there’s an adaptive option out there for them.”

— Colleen Kratofil

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Showing 9 comments

Lissy on

👍👏

Guest on

Differently abled? If you’re going to be a pu$$y then at least be consistent throughout the article. Calling it disabled just one time undoes your whole thing.

jenneeb on

I applaud Tommy Hilfiger for designing clothing for people with various forms of special needs or physical challenges. Finally! Someone who sees the importance of this market. That being said, they use the term “differently-abled”? Really? That just doesn’t sound right to me. Maybe ease up on the p.c. y’all……just a little.

Mia on

I think this is a great idea and does create a sense of inclusion. I’d also like to add that other brands should begin creating clothing for disabled people of all ages. More affordable brands should take note.

really on

Love it.

Steve on

It’s about time! IZCollection.com make clothes for wheelchair users which are very fashion focused. Good to see that other companies are catching on!

Vicki on

I love the idea and really hope is not super expensive.

Sandra Cajigas on

Bravo!!!

Curt on

Kudos to Hilfiger and Mindy Scheier! We have autism in our family and stylish clothing designed specifically for young people with sensory disorders is hard to find. The other place I think is terrific is independencedayclothing.com. A young, startup with unique clothing that is totally reversible, has no snaps, buttons or closures and is GPS enabled. .

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