A group of beaming models, some in wheelchairs and others clutching walkers, graced the runway this week in New York City to show off the latest in adaptive clothing, designs made to fit the bodies of people who have physical disabilities.
It was part of the Design for Disability Gala on May 16, put on by the Cerebral Palsy Foundation with help from the Fashion Institute of Technology, whose students created the designs from concept to finish.
“It was just thrilling,” Richard Ellenson, CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, told TODAY. “When they’re all out there, suddenly the disability completely goes away.”
For Ellenson, adaptive clothing is a cause close to his heart.
“My son Tom has disabilities — he has cerebral palsy; he’s 18 now,” he said. “And I always wanted to create clothing that was easier for him to put on, that would help with his needs … it was so exciting to go from seven years ago, wondering if my kid could have a shirt that fit a little better, to watching these women wearing this clothing.”