A Chicago-based fashion student is creating clothing tailored to individuals who have autism and disabilities.

Published: May 8, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

-By Ankita Dutta

At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, fashion student Ali Kushner creates clothing for those with autism and other challenges. To create outfits that are easy to wear and easier to put on, her spring collection includes leftover scraps and shredded fabric from earlier projects. She wants to make the community more diverse and inclusive by allowing a larger spectrum of people. Her clothing omits zippers, uses autism-friendly fibres, and takes into account the increased mobility of the back and front when wearing while on wheelchair. Kushner wants her work to serve as an example for major fashion companies and to make people feel more at ease in their daily lives.

According to a Fox 32 Chicago report, Kushner was motivated to develop the line shortly after studying about the difficulties that people with disabilities encounter while attempting to obtain clothes that fits them. She discovered that it was unfair for numerous individuals with disabilities to have to pay more for clothing that was tailored to their needs.

If we apply these ideas to regular clothing, we should be able to dress a greater range of people, according to Kushner.

The centrepiece of her runway collection, a Monumental Train, was created by Kushner in collaboration with the Chicago-based non-profit “Envision Unlimited,” which employs creatives with developmental disabilities.

According to Kushner, the entire project took roughly six artists three months to complete, and the result was an incredible work of art.

“You can really tell they put their heart and soul into this,” she remarked. In the end, Kushner wants her work to encourage major clothing companies to design collections that are more inclusive and give individuals more comfort in their daily lives. She wished and wanted people to remark, “I want to put this on every day for the rest of my life,” when they saw a piece of apparel.

Many people feel like outsiders in the fashion world due to their colour, body type, or impairment, and the fashion industry has come under fire for its absence of inclusivity. But Kushner’s work is a positive move, and it is expected that more designers would follow this example.

On the Fox 32 Chicago website, you can browse the whole collection of Kushner’s work if you’re interested.

In the long term, Kushner’s line is evidence of the ability of fashion to unite people and foster a more welcoming environment. Kushner has demonstrated that fashion may serve as more than just a vehicle for self-expression; it can also be a force for social change by creating clothing that is both convenient and readily available to those with impairments.

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