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Addressing disabilities in fashion design

May 1st, 2019 / By: / In the Industry

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) and the Runway of Dreams Foundation teamed up to launch the “Fashion for All” Design Competition. The competition challenged students to design a prom look, for men or women, that re-imagines fashion and function for a person with a disability. Designs responded to the fashion needs of people who are “non-ambulatory or are ambulatory with fine motor challenges” or have a limb difference, cognitive disability, or are Little Persons.

April Davenport from Oregon State, first place, was awarded a $5,000 scholarship for her design, Wrapped in Roses. Lauren Bouvier from the University of Arkansas, second place, was awarded a $2,500 scholarship for her design, Royal Rose. Katherine Absher from North Carolina State University, Wilson College of Textiles, third place, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for her design, Chrysalis Gown. 

Five other participants won honorable mentions and will be presented with a certificate and congratulatory letter. Eight of 24 entries were finalists. Awards will be recognized at the Runway of Dreams Foundation Gala in September 2019 in New York City.

The 2019 judges were  Mindy Scheier, founder and CEO of Runway of Dreams Foundation; Zulu Williams, VP Design, men’s sportswear, Macy’s Inc.; Martha Carper, retired, DuPont Co.; Tina Beauvais, president, EmBraced in Comfort; Vanessa Sanchez, summer program mentor, Open Style Lab and research fellow at Harvard University; and Julie Katzenberger, director, QA Management LLC. 

AATCC is a not-for-profit association serving textile professionals since 1921. Runway of Dreams Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works toward a future of inclusion, acceptance and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities.