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Adaptive clothing worn on the catwalk for people with disabilities

The fashion brand, Unhidden, presented their on-trend designs for people with disabilities this week at London Fashion Week.

The Unhidden Show featured items such as tailored trousers which have an elasticated waistband and vertical pockets and wheelchair users to avoid contents falling out.

Models also revealed a dress that gives easy access to stomas or feeding tubes, and tops with arm openings to give access for those undergoing chemo or radiotherapy.

The designer behind the brand, Victoria Jenkins, has a disability with gastro-intestinal problems that have required multiple surgeries.

Whilst in hospital, Victoria met a woman who repeatedly had to undress in order for the doctors to examine her stoma and lines in her arms. Seeing this woman, who was being treated for cancer, struggling to undress and also having to expose herself every time she was checked in front of multiple people, inspired Victoria to create clothing which was adaptive for this very situation.

After finding high street clothes uncomfortable to wear, Victoria created the Unhidden brand with an aim to design stylish clothes but which were accessible too; such as having Velcro instead of fiddly buttons.

The brand unveiled 20 designs at their London Fashion Week show with a collaboration in the works for the items to be available to rent so people don’t have to make expensive purchases.

Victoria is also working on an adaptable kids range. The show has been praised on social media and Victoria hopes retailers can see disability normalised in society.

Naomi O’Rourke, Solicitor in our personal injury team, said:

“Positive representation is extremely important. Initiatives such as ‘The Unhidden show’ are sadly often met with cries of ‘tick box exercise’ or ‘woke brigade’. What matters, however, is the meaningful impact it has on those that it represents; the girl who has suffered a severe brain injury watching a wheelchair user in a fashion show, or a child with Down Syndrome smiling as they see a model with the same disability used in an advert.

I hope that one day, this representation becomes so ingrained within society that it doesn’t require acknowledgement or even labelling as such. Until then, the validation it brings to individuals should not be underestimated.”

Naomi O'Rourke is a Solicitor in personal injury here at Potter Rees Dolan. Should you have any queries in relation to this article or indeed any other aspect of personal injury and wish to speak to Naomi or any other member of the team, please contact us on 0800 027 2557 or contact Naomi directly.