Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Clothes That 'Suit' - Finally, A Clothing Website For Wheelchair Users

18 Feb 2011I wanted to share with you something that I came across today that may prove very useful to anyone in the disabled community.

Izzy Camilleri is a Canadian fashion designer who has designed clothes for A-list Hollywood celebrities, such as Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez and many more.

Years ago, Izzy was asked to design a clothing garment for a wheelchair bound journalist, whilst doing so, she came to realize how difficult it must be for people in wheelchairs to find clothing that not only lets them show their personality, but that is comfortable as well.

Something that you may not think about often is that clothes are commonly designed for people in standing positions, and you rarely see store mannequins in a seated pose. Because of this, when you see an article of clothing in a store that catches your eye, it may look completely different on someone in a wheelchair, than what it would on someone who is standing up. This is something that clothing designers seldom consider, until now.

Izzy has fabulously combined functionality and fashion into the one line of clothing. She has taken into account that excess material can cause bulkiness on someone who is seated, with this in mind, Izzy has eliminated the extra unnecessary fabric, to create clothes with less bulk on the front, back and sides.

The clothes have been designed to suit people with various types of disabilities, from severe spinal cord injuries, that have little movement and high backed wheelchairs, to those who use a manual wheelchair and don’t want their clothes to rub on their wheels.

Izzy recently teamed up with Sophie Morgan, who was runner up on Britain’s Missing Top Model. Sophie, now 26, broke her back in a car accident in 2003 and was paralysed from the chest down, she now requires the use of a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

Since Sophie’s accident, she has seen the world from a different perspective, and has endured some amazing experiences that may not have previously been possible. She is definitely on a mission now to shake up the world and create more awareness of the disabled community.

An extremely talented artist, trained at the prestigious Goldsmiths University in London, Sophie also works as a TV presenter (The one Show, CBBC and BBC3) as well director of the IMperfect campaign, which supports victims of disability discrimination and empowers young disabled people.

The ‘Be Happy’ t-shirt, designed by Sophie is for sale on Izzy’s website, with proceeds going towards the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injuries.

Sophie has also designed and created the Manequal, which is a wheelchair type platform for mannequins to be seated on, this will allow clothes to be shown in a seated position, and they were first launched in Debenhams, a British retailer. To learn more about Sophie, visit her website: www.sophiemorgan.com

To view Izzy’s line of clothing, visit: www.izadaptive.com - There is a vast range of items that can be purchased from the site, such as; pants, suits and blazers, tops, skirts, dresses, evening wear, knits, robes and even bridal wear. They have also included a menswear range that include; jackets and coats, pants, tops and robes. Even sleeve guards, which are designed for manual chair users, to protect their clothing from rubbing on their wheels and getting their sleeves dirty, brilliant!

All of the clothes have been created to make the life of the people wearing them and their carers who dress them, easier.

Izzy has videos that can be viewed on site that show some of her customers in wheelchairs, wearing her range of clothes and how easily they are to put on and take off.

The ideas in Izzy’s designs are so simple, yet so effective and people all over the world are raving about them. And at such a reasonable cost to the retailer, why wouldn’t they be? Take a look and you might just find something that you like!

Some of Izzy's clothing range

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