In the midst of the push for inclusivity in fashion and more readily available clothing in plus sizes, the different ways in which clothing might fit people with disabilities have not been addressed as often. ASOS, the popular British online retailer already known for their reasonable prices and diversity without tokenism in model representation, has taken steps in the right direction with a collaboration with Chloe Ball-Hopkins. Ball-Hopkins, who is a sports reporter, athlete, and British Paralympic hopeful, happened to be born without hips and with her feet twisted toward her shins.
After going to the Splendour Festival and getting soaked with rain, Ball-Hopkins decided to design a waterproof set that is both practical and fashionable for festival season. Despite being a one-piece jumpsuit, the top and bottom separate with a zipper so that the pieces can be worn separately and are also easier to put on and take off. The jacket has a waterproof pocket on the breast that can be used to hold a phone, medication, or emergency information. The pants have elastic at the ankles to accommodate people with varying heights and make it easier to put rain boots on.
While shopping in-store can be difficult to maneuver in a wheelchair, it can be challenging to shop online when the representation is not there. Besides the details in the garment itself, the fact that Ball-Hopkins modeled for the site in a normal setting without focus on her disability made a huge impact. The photos emphasize that anyone can wear the set, and with simple changes that can make all the difference for someone in a wheelchair and also make life easier for able-bodied people, more of this is something we can all get behind.
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