Many of us think of the fashion industry as frivolous if not self-indulgent. The glitzy brand names such as Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton and the over-the-top fashion shows produced are immersed in a distant world of luxury and opulence. However, that’s only one part of the industry, and though those names garner a lot of attention, the majority of fashion brands are understated and priced for the average consumer.
Major fashion houses and magazines such as Vogue have taught us that fashion is much more than clothes. Style is a statement and people don’t just throw on stuff because it’s there. What you wear and how you accessorize reflects your character, aspirations and personal expression of style. Fashion can even change perceptions.
While fashion is used by many men and women to create an image, it’s also being adopted by people with disabilities to change the perception of their conditions and them. Unfortunately, most people view someone in a wheelchair or another mobility device as helpless, sad and even as an object of pity. And don’t think wheelchair users don’t know this. Tired of being seen as ‘patients’, today’s disabled community is taking the power of fashion to change the image others have. By wearing attractive clothes and accessorizing their wheelchairs and other mobility devices, men and women with disabilities are letting the world know they are people with style.
Until recently people using wheelchairs didn’t have much choice when it came to fashion. But times change and today the fashion industry is branching out to include attractive adaptive clothing, accessories for mobility devices and even a wide selection of empowering t-shirts and head wear that let the able-bodied know that pity is the only thing out of style.
Just as a young man will wear a suit to a job interview or a senior woman will dress in bright colors, people with disabilities are using fashion to crush old stereotypes and announce their character and individuality. From colorful wheelchair bags like our HDS MEDALLION® CarryAll Bags, athletic shoes designed for amputees and stylish clothing on disabled models rolling down runways, the time has come for fashion to do its magic and change the common perception of people with disabilities.