Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Yes! Disabled consumers demand fashion and fit

Dear Louise: Your fabulous article (In Lucy Jones’ hands, style and disability are a perfect fit) forwarded to me by my son BJ Miller about Lucy Jones certainly spoke to me: I've been disabled since infancy by polio.  

Growing up with a disability back in the ’50s and ’60s was different from what it is now: back then, people with disabilities were seen as less desirable” or “acceptable.” One way I tried to fit it was to always wear clothes that were “in.”

Lucy Jones has uncovered a real need, a market segment that is waiting to be filled. She's also chosen to work with a talented and unfussy, unfrilly designer in Eileen Fisher, who knows how to marry form and function to yield great design.

Lucy Jones “gets it,” that the way people dress is an important personal statement, perhaps especially for people with disabilities, because, as I learned when I was young, it's one way to “fit in.”

Yet it's extremely hard to find fashionable clothes that are flattering with the myriad of figure and function issues we have.  

The search and the trying on can be physically and emotionally exhausting, especially when results aren't satisfactory. It often comes down to choosing between unfashionable “clunky” clothes that fit and work well (assuming we can find even them), or fashionable ones that don't. 

In addition, the higher fashion clothes are more expensive to begin with, and on top of that, they usually need to be altered or even remade, which adds more expense (assuming we can find a skilled tailor)!

Finding well-fitting and fashionable clothes can be a big consumer of our most precious resources: energy, time, money. People like Lucy Jones can help us conserve these to spend in better ways!

Yours truly,

Susan Miller, St. Louis, Missouri (pictured above with her husband Bruce, right, and son BJ, centre. Many of you will remember the interview we ran with BJ, who was a Princeton sophomore when an accident at college left him a triple amputee. He's now a palliative care doctor at the Zen Hospice in San Fransisco.)

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Thank you for this and the linked interview,
which I hadn't seen before.

I am a firm believer on inclusivity and the impacts it can have on people. I think it is inspiring of Lucy to design a line of clothing that is fashionable as well as functional for people with disabilities. It is important that everyone is treated equally, if people without disabilities get a choice on their fashion than so should those with disabilities regardless of some challenges that may come along with it such as needing to wear braces or being in wheelchairs. Lucy found a way to make fashionable clothing still accessible to those with disabilities such as those in wheelchairs. So happy there are people like Lucy creating inclusivity for all. Great interview and great email response. You can see how much of an impact Lucy and inclusivity by extension has made on those with disabilities. - Bryson B

Everyone should have access to buying fashionable clothing. Tommy Hilfiger now offers a line of modified mainstream apparel for differently abled consumers.