I can’t pinpoint exactly when originality and individuality became indispensable to my style, but I do recall at age 13 being deeply disappointed when a friend bought the same exact dress I was planning to wear to my bat mitzvah. The thought of someone else wearing MY dress was torture.
Before my teenage years, however, I loved looking like everybody else! In elementary school my friends and I had blue jean Fridays, and everyday was wear your heart shaped sunglasses with a bandana wrapped around your neck.
Today, my kids do the same – they find pride in being like the rest. I see the confidence that comes across M as he suits up in his soccer uniform. And last summer at camp, GL was thrilled to be a part of the rainbow bathing suit brigade. (There were at least 8 of them inÂ the same swimwear!)
“I like wearing the popular things,” she told me.
Inclusion is a huge part of childhood. Kids don’t want to be different which is why Runway of Dreams– a nonprofit that works with the fashion industry to adapt mainstream clothing for kids in the differently-abled community – is so important.
It started when Mindy Schier hit a wall. Her son, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, wanted to wear jeans to school, but he couldn’t. So she set out to make the jeans he could wear and more.
“After speaking with a wide range of people and learning about their specific needs, I found three commonalities that would make their lives easier: modified closures, adjustability and alternate options to get in and out of the garments,” said Schier.
The goal is to have adapted lines of clothing become part of the retail vocabulary- like petite, plus size and maternity.
And the conversation has already begun. Partnering up with Tommy Hilfiger, Runway of Dreams now offers 22 pieces for boys size 4-20 and girls size 4-18, identical to the TH kids collection aside from the magnet closures.
Last week, I had the honor of working on the video shoot which debuted the new collection.
On set, Liam raced around the studio – just like any boy bored from being cooped up inside all day – except he’s in a wheel chair. And 6 year old Gianna was alloverÂ the sparkly accessories I brought, but she has only one arm to work with.
Unlike any shoot I’ve styled, this one left me with an expanded mind and an open heart.
Checkout the video directed by muthership productions, and please share to help change the fashion industry!