LIVINGSTON, N.J. -- Call Mindy Scheier a mom on a mission.
Scheier is a fashion designer by trade who has her hands full raising three children, one who was born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy.
“We knew fairly early on that he was going to struggle with being able to dress himself and one day he came and asked if he could wear jeans to school,” she told PIX11 News.
Knowing that standard child jeans – like most clothing – are not made to support those with disabilities, the last thing Scheier wanted to do was make her 11-year-old son Oliver feel left out.
“It was really at that moment that I decided change needed to happen in the industry so fashion could be available to all,” she said.
It was 2013 and Scheier had the tools and now the inspiration to create Runway of Dreams, a non-profit that works with the fashion industry to adapt mainstream clothing for the disabled community.
“Our culture, our society has never been more ready for something like this to happen as evidence by differently abled models in fashion week,” she explained, “Or as Lego having a toy that now has a wheelchair.”
The clothing which uses a magnetic system to replace closures like buttons and zippers, snap on and off with a just a light tug.
Parents like Michael Shiavone says it makes life a lot easier for daughter Gianna who was born missing her left forearm and hand.
“It just makes her feel comfortable,” he explained. “It makes her feel independent and it empowers to be able to put on her own shirt and pants which are the things we take for granted.”
The clothing line is already striking a chord with many across the world including former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand who appears in a mini-documentary on YouTube produced by Runway Of Dreams.
Tommy Hilfiger is the first major mainstream designer who has come on board to launch an entire adaptive children’s collection, that recently went on sale. A significant step, Scheier says, that’s part of a larger mission.
The Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive Children’s collection is on sale now in stores and online. To get more information on the collection and Runway of Dreams, visit their site: http://runwayofdreams.org/home/
BY ANDREW RAMOS