How very exciting to see that the fashion industry is embracing older adults living with an impairment or disability and designing clothing that is impressive, exciting and individual.
Recently, the ‘Disrupt Aging Design Challenge’ in New York, awarded the $5000 prize to the student whose design collection met the following criteria:
- Identify a critical design issue facing older adults
- Research and develop a design that addresses this issue
- Finally, produce a product or piece of clothing that solves the issue.
This competition brought attention to the many challenges that older adults, and people with disabilities, face regularly when they want to do is wear something stylish and fashionable.
Some of the remarkable designs included:
- Shoes with integrated navigation for people who are vision impaired
- Buttonless clothes
- Coats that are simple to put on when bound to a wheelchair
- Garments that allow for catheters and other assistance devices
- Tops with necklines that stay open longer so they can easily be pulled over one’s head
- A vest with extended wingspan provides easy application for anyone living with skeletal issues.
The winning garment was designed by Camila Chiriboga. She wanted to create a way to tag clothing so that anyone with vision impairment can easily identify and understand each item.
“With this collection, I set out to explore the ways in which fashion could expand beyond its visual language to include the senses of touch, smell, sound,” Chiriboga said in an AARP press release. “What better way to do it than to work with a community, mostly comprised of people over 50 who have slowly lost their sight due to age or age-related diseases that have been excluded from the visual system of fashion until this point?”
Not-for-profit community organisation AARP and the Parsons School of Design collaborated to create this one-of-a-kind design competition:
“The Disrupt Aging Design Challenge grew out of AARP’s desire to explore the concept of aging in the fashion industry. It was launched this year to encourage students to explore design that leverages, rethinks and includes the needs of older fashion consumers during the design process”.
AARP – http://www.aarp.org/