Tonight Tommy Hilfiger and Zendaya took the fashion industry to school with the premiere of Tommy X Zendaya Adaptive during New York Fashion Week. The 70’s inspired looks designed for customers with standing body types and customers with seated body types exude power. Also, both collections are available for pre-order online at Tommy Hilfiger. As far as I know, this is a first! The screengrab below of Tommyhilfilger.com is also a monumental first. . Tommy X Zendaya, Curve, and Tommy Adaptive are all on Tommy Hilfiger women’s homepage! I’ll give you a minute to let the significance of this image sink in. If you’re a designer and you’ve been wondering how to design and market adaptive clothing, this is how you do it.
The Tommy X Zendaya show was held at the historic Apollo Theater. Models with disabilities like Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, Jillian Mercado, Aaron Phillips, and Mama Cax were on the front row rocking looks from Tommy X Zendaya Adaptive, sitting alongside guests wearing Tommy X Zendaya. It was so beautiful, one room, one collection, one celebration of fashion, style, and culture; to me; this is equity. The Zendaya Adaptive capsule collection (I love the sound of that) has nine pieces. My favorites are the houndstooth suit sold as separates. The blazer has magnetic closures; the monogram pants have both VELCRO® a brand closure and magnetic closure. There is also a matching metallic gold turtleneck with a hidden zipper on one side of the neck. I’m also a fan of the houndstooth trench coat that doubles as a dress for seated and standing body types. Tonight’s fashion show may be Zendaya’s last collection with Tommy Hilfiger, but for me, it’s the show responsible for so many phenomenal firsts in bridging the gap between the fashion industry and fashion customers with disabilities.
In October 2011, I wrote an article for Abledbody.com entitled Inclusive Designs: Could the Answer be in a Capsule? Derek Lam’s collaboration with Ebay inspired this article. It was Ebay’s first crowdsourced capsule collection. At the time Washington Post reporter Katherine Boyle quotes Lam, “It’s a chance to expand the brand and reach an audience that may not be as familiar with the brand.” That’s when it hit me, a pre-sold capsule collection is a feasible solution for connecting risk adverse designers with fashion customers with disabilities. So, in this master class, Zendaya Adaptive acts as a case study of the viability of the pre-sold capsule collection.
Some people may have a problem with the fact that there were no models with visible disabilities in the show, but I don’t have a problem with that. If given a choice between a model with a disability on the runway as a prop and a model with a disability in the audience actually wearing pieces from the designer collection being shown on the runway, I’d rather see the models in the audience.
Photo Credits Including Feature Shot: tommyadaptive.com