Designer creates clothing range for the disabled

Getting dressed is something that most of us take for granted. We probably don’t even think about it as we put on our clothes in the morning. For the disabled or people with limited mobility, however, it can be a completely different story. Something as simple to us as doing up a zip or button can take on a whole new meaning.

Now Ann Oliver has done something about this. She wanted to create a line of clothing for disabled women so she enrolled on a course at St. Martin’s College in London with this in mind. There are shops such as Debenhams that use disabled models in their advertising campaigns but so far there are few clothing shops that actually cater for disabled men and women.

Ann Oliver’s designs include such things as magnetic fastenings instead of zips and buttons. This way the jacket or whatever draws itself together and fastens. She has also cut out coats and jackets at the back so that when the wearer sits down it doesn’t pull uncomfortably at the collar. And there are trousers giving extra length at the back of the waist so that they are more comfortable for women in wheelchairs.

Her first collection, Xeni, was launched online earlier in the year but there is one problem. The clothes are being made in London on a very small scale and not in the Far East. This means that they are very expensive. And with ½ million people going to lose their Disability Allowance in the next several years it could mean that they will unable to afford Ann’s prices. There are however 10 million disabled people in the country and she says she has already had a lot of interest.

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