Why Adaptive Wear Matters: Stories from the Runway

by Allie Cashel
Why Adaptive Wear Matters: Stories from the Runway

The adaptive wear industry is growing fast. Big brands like Zappos and Tommy Adaptive are now joining the space, creating clothing designed specifically for people with differing abilities that make it easy to get dressed every day. This is the industry that we live and breathe. Ever since we launched our very first PICCPerfect PICC Line cover, we’ve been a leading force in this fashion revolution – working to create clothing and accessories that increase quality of life for our Friends in the Fight.  

Earlier this Spring, our Mighty Pack was featured in the Runway of Dreams fashion show in Las Vegas alongside many of the brands and products that are revolutionizing the fashion industry for people with disabilities and illnesses. It was amazing to see so many models rock the runway with clothes and accessories built for their bodies and needs!

We know adaptive wear matters, but it’s most powerful to hear it from the people who are benefiting from adaptive wear every day. Here are some of our favorite stories from the runway, with quotes from models sharing why adaptive wear matters to them!

Adaptive Wear is Empowering

“I didn’t even know adaptive clothing existed before Runway of Dreams,” says Chris Ruden a Type 1 Diebeties patient, elite Powerlifter, entrepreneur, model and motivational speaker.  Chris was born with only two fingers on his left hand and a shorter left arm, which has made getting dressed every morning a challenge. “I’ve always struggled with tying my shoes and buttoning my buttons on dress shirts (especially the neck and cuffs). It’s not the most empowering feeling to have to ask someone to help dress you at an event where you are the keynote speaker and you want to be taken as such. Adaptive wear helps with the practicality of dressing with a disability but goes so much further than that. It gives us confidence and independence. It’s crazy how something like getting dressed which is so often taken for granted can be so empowering.”

Adaptive Wear Keeps Us Active and Moving

Kayla Bolnick is 18 years old. She was born with Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus, neurogenic bowel and bladder, Arnold Chairi malformation, paralysis. But she doesn’t let her diagnosis define her. “Ever since I could remember I have participated in sports from swimming, track, basketball, triathlon, and surfing to name a few,” she says. “If you don’t see me being active then I’m most likely in the middle of a school project, hanging with friends or family.”

Kayla was a participating model in the recent Runway of Dreams show. “I was able to model Nike clothing and those amazing Nike Flyease tennis shoes with zippers that allow my orthotic to slide right into the shoe! This is also where I learned about Mighty Well. All my life I’ve carried a backpack with zip locks for all my medical supplies. The ziplock would always fall to the bottom of my backpack and I’d have to dig or empty my bag to get to items. On the evening of the runway, I was introduced to the Mighty Pack, and a couple of weeks later I started using the backpack. I’m now able to hold my bladder catheters & bowel supplies, bandages, along with school supplies. And better yet I’m not emptying the entire bag in front of a stranger to find something. It fits perfectly on the back of my wheelchair!”

Whether it’s the Mighty Pack, or the Nike Flyease tennis shoes, adaptive wear helps Kayla keep up with her fast-paced active lifestyle. Nothing slows her down.

Adaptive Wear Gives Us Choice and Style

“Adaptive clothing has opened up a whole new world for me,” says Janira Obregon. “Adaptive clothing not only have given me the opportunity to become more fashionable, but I also feel more independent. Adaptive clothing has also allowed me to develop my own style. It has provided me the opportunity to finally have the same type of options to wear as everyone else in the world.”

How has Adaptive Wear influenced your life? Join our Friends in the Fight Facebook group to share your story with the community!


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