Following ASOS’s much hyped, but very limited, recent foray into accessible fashion, a new startup label is showing them how it’s done.
Last summer saw ASOS collaborate with journalist and Paralympic hopeful Chloe Ball-Hopkins, after she wrote to the retailer asking them to include adaptive clothing options. The result was a colourful wheelchair-friendly waterproof jumpsuit designed to be worn at festivals, which is still available on sale. While it’s exciting to see an influential retailer designing adaptable fashion forward clothes, the ASOS jumpsuit hasn’t been followed up with any new designs or even a capsule collection since it debuted last summer. I can’t help but feel that the collaboration was either a tokenistic move from ASOS, or a prototype that they’ve decided is not worth investing in. Hopefully they will prove me wrong in the coming months.
Until then, check out new adaptable fashion label Kintsugi Clothing. which launched in December 2018. Emma McClelland founded Kintsugi Clothing because she saw a gap in the market for adaptable clothing that’s simultaneously “fashionable, accessible and inclusive”. The aim of the collection is to be universal yet stylish – clothes are designed to appeal to people with a range of disabilities – or no disabilities – and come in sizes 8-20.
My favourite pieces from the collection are the emerald green slinky Samantha top, which has a magnetic neck fastening, and the midi length Kintsugi print skirt, which has a catheter pocket – who’d have known! Other stylish designs include a two-piece jumpsuit designed for easy bathroom access on nights out, and a great pair of stylish wide legged jeans with room for prosthetic legs and side zips for easier access. The collection also nods to the athleisure trend with the soft cotton silver and blue Farley joggers.
At the moment Kintsugi only stock womenswear, but McClelland says she would like to branch out into mens and childrenswear in the future.
A stylish and accessible clothing line that does stock mens and childrenswear is Chairmelotte, who describe themselves as “wheelchair couture”, and therefore have a higher price point than Kintsugi. They specifically design clothing for wheelchair users and ship worldwide. They also have a very useful Made to Measure service, where designs can be adapted to your specific body shape and size. Email firstname.lastname@example.org too avail of this service. Some of their designs are, in my opinion, slightly fusty and dated, but there are some beautiful pieces in the collection.
The Sandrine trousers have been cut to look elegant and streamlined in a seated position, to the extent that they’re actually not suitable for walking in! And in menswear, the Pierce shirt is simultaneously classic and directional, with ribbon and d-ring fastenings and a stylish open band collar.
Have any BBS readers bought from either of these collections? If you have, please get in touch to let us know what you think of them.
The Blue Badge Access Awards are coming up and we want YOUR nominations! Visit the awards website for more info on how to nominate your favourite stylish and accessible venues.