Style

This Mother Designed Life-Changing Clothes For Her Son With Muscular Dystrophy

And her company’s collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger is bringing adaptive clothing to the masses.

1. Mindy Scheier is a fashion designer who has worked with brands like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s. But a few years back, she decided to use her talents for a greater purpose.

Richard Corman / Via Runway of Dreams

2. Scheier’s son, Oliver, was born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, inspiring her to start an adaptive clothing nonprofit called Runway of Dreams in 2013.

Helen Polise / Via Runway of Dreams

3. “When Oliver started caring about his style, I had to make a decision: let him wear jeans that meant he couldn’t go to the bathroom on his own, or tell him he couldn’t dress like the other kids,” Scheier tells BuzzFeed. “And saying no was not an option.”

Runway of Dreams

Runway of Dreams

 

4. Since then, Runway of Dreams has been using technology to adapt mainstream clothing for differently abled bodies.

MagnaReady®

The group ensures maximum accessibility for people with mobility concerns by making clothing fully adjustable, as well as able to be put on and taken off in multiple ways. It also works with MagnaReady® to replace traditional button closures, which can be difficult to open and close.

5. And this week, Runway of Dreams is launching its first major brand collaboration with none other than Tommy Hilfiger.

Richard Corman / Via Runway of Dreams

The collection will be available in boys’ sizes 4 to 20 and girls’ sizes 4 to 18.

6. “We approached Tommy Hilfiger with our manufacturer, Global Brands Group, and we’re lucky that everyone involved was in full support of our mission,” Scheier says. “They immediately got it.”

Helen Polise / Via Runway of Dreams

7. And, says Scheier, it’s important to all three parties to adapt the same clothing usually found in stores, since all kids deserve to be able to rock the same styles as their peers — just like Oliver and his jeans.

Richard Corman / Via Runway of Dreams

8. “We’re not recreating the wheel,” says Scheier, “we’re modifying what already exists.”

Richard Corman / Via Runway of Dreams

“We worked with Tommy’s technical designers, worked with their customer service department to ensure that they understand different functions of the clothing and that they’re using the correct language, and brought in differently abled models to make sure the clothing was functional.”

9. Scheier tells BuzzFeed that even the process of designing this collection has had life-changing results.

Helen Polise / Via Runway of Dreams

“In one fit session, a young man in a wheelchair was trying on a button-down top with magnets,” she says. “And he said, ‘I’m 14 years old, and this is the first time in my life I’ve ever been able to dress myself.’ I can’t tell you how incredible that felt.”

10. And Scheier says she’s not stopping here.

Richard Corman / Via Runway of Dreams

“We already have two more collections in the making,” she tells BuzzFeed. “We want to make clothing for all ages, too. And we’re talking to different brands, because our demographic knows no socioeconomic background, and we want to be accessible.”

11. “I’m so proud of how many people have come forward to be a part of this and share their stories,” Scheier says, “and to have Tommy Hilfiger with us is such an important sign of what’s to come.”

Helen Polise / Via Runway of Dreams

“We intend to make a huge change in the fashion industry,” she says. “The more people we have behind us, the further we can go.”

12. For now, you can learn more about Runway of Dreams via its website and the video below, and find the Tommy Hilfiger adaptive clothing collection at Tommy.com.

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