Adaptive clothing shakes up the fashion world

Cue the lights, hit the music, and get ready to strut your stuff. It is one of the last shows of LA Fashion Week and the models are lined up ready do their little turn on the catwalk. The entourage is not your typical set of super models. These models all have disabilities, and they are wearing the latest styles from Bezgraniz Couture, a Russian company whose new collections of functional modern clothes and accessories include more elbow room, extra zippers and alternative tailoring to address the needs of people with disabilities. Fashion is a $1.2 trillion global industry, with more than $250 billion spent annually on fashion in the United States, but to date very little of that money has focused on the needs of people with disabilities. While several small companies have attempted to address those needs, few have been successful, and mainstream designs aimed at consumers with disabilities are few and far between. But if the scene on the Los Angeles runway, along with some other positive developments are any sign, the major players in the fashion industry may finally be stepping up to give the world’s most underserved populations some new and exciting fashion options.

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