It’s extremely rare to see clothes and other fashion items specifically designed for wheelchair-bound individuals. According to one fashion designer, the industry greatly neglected or somehow ignored these people’s needs for comfortable and at the same time, fashionable, clothes. Good thing several renowned designers are now addressing these needs and concerns and are making a clothing line for the disabled community.
Lucy Jones, a 23-year-old graduate of Parsons School of Design, loves fashion and designing clothes. But what makes this Welsh designer exceptional is her passion to create fashionable as well as comfortable clothes for wheelchair users.
It was in 2012 that Lucy was tasked to design clothes that will have a global impact. At first, she was dumbfounded. She wondered to herself how she’s going to do that.
Then she turned to her cousin, Jake, for help. Jake has left-sided paralysis. Despite his condition, he still does his daily tasks independently, except for one thing – dressing himself.
That gave her an idea of what she’s going to do, which evolved later on into something more magnificent. She then designed and created a pair of jeans for her cousin that can be put on with just his right hand.
It was in 2014 that Lucy began her research on how to design clothes for wheelchair users. After creating the first garment for her cousin, Lucy then decided that in her senior collection, she will focus on making more clothing especially designed for wheelchair users.
Summer of last year, the aspiring designer sought the help of United Cerebral Palsy in Brooklyn and Manhattan. She interviewed about 100 individuals in person and over email, asking them about their clothing and how it fits them. She also took detailed measurements on six people.
She also asked for a volunteer who will become her fit model for her patterns and designs as well as her sounding board. And so she met Ronnie, a woman with limited mobility due to multiple sclerosis.
Lucy worked together with Ronnie as she created her own collection of fashionable yet comfortable clothes for people on seated positions or individuals on wheelchairs. And her efforts paid off. Her passion and dedication were acknowledged and recognized.
In 2015, during Parsons annual Fashion Benefit, Lucy won the much coveted fashion award. The young Welsh designer was held as the Women’s Designer of the Year, last May 19 for her clothing line, the Seated Design. The Seated Design is a collection especially made for self-propelled, differently-abled or wheelchair users.