In a sign that major retail may slowly be opening to clothing needs of consumers with disabilities, two major brands, Tommy Hilfiger and Target’s Cat & Jack, have introduced new adaptive clothing lines this fall.
The Tommy Adaptive line is for adults with disabilities, and follows on the heels of the company’s adaptive children’s clothing collection. The line features the same styling as the larger Tommy Hilfiger portfolio, but with some clever and often hidden adaptations. Examples include men’s corduroy pants featuring a magnetic fly, Velcro waist closure and adjustable hem, and a women’s jean jacket featuring magnetic closures hidden behind classic button fronts and Velcro closure pockets. Women’s and men’s lines feature a range of pants, dress shirts, T-shirts, dresses, jackets, sweatshirts, and shorts.
“Inclusivity and the democratization of fashion have always been at the core of my brand’s DNA,” said Tommy Hilfiger in a statement on the Tommy Adaptive line. “These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering disabled adults to express themselves for fashion.”
As of October 22, an adaptive clothing line for kids and toddlers from Cat & Jack has been available at Target stores. The brand has only been around for a little over a year, but has already amassed over $2 billion in sales. In August, Cat & Jack launched a line of sensory-friendly clothes, and now it’s expanding the collection to include clothes tailored to children with physical disabilities. Adaptations include shirts and onesies with abdominal access, outwear with zip-off sleeves, and footless sleepers that can be worn with the zipper in front or in back.
“It’s our goal at Target to always make sure we have products that fit our guests’ needs, and all at a reasonable price point. We heard from our guests — and members of our own team — that there’s a need for adaptive clothing for kids that is both fashionable and affordable, so we set out to create exactly that,” said Julie Guggemos, senior vice president of product design and development at Target, in a press release.
Until recently, adaptive clothing has typically been available only from specialty brands, though style and design have advanced rapidly thanks to designers like Izzy Camilleri and the team behind Russian/German brand Bezgraniz Couture. The disability community can hope that these major brands’ forays into the adaptive clothing realm points to a broader trend in the fashion industry.