On September 24, designer Izzy Camilleri launched IZ Adaptive, an extended inclusive 55-piece ready-to-wear collection for people with physical disabilities. The brand is available at www.IZAdaptive.com and will also feature at Zappos and Macy’s later this year. The collection marks one of the biggest launches in adaptive fashion.
- IZ Adaptive, formerly IZ Collection—the ready-to-wear apparel brand designed for adults with physical disabilities—released its expanded adaptive fashion collection this week.
- A pioneer in the adaptive space, IZ Adaptive first debuted in 2009 when Izzy Camilleri made the shift from runway couture to accessible fashion for wheelchair users.
- IZ Adaptive has launched a #PerfectFit social media campaign where customers express their idea of the perfect fit on video.
Camilleri, a Canadian designer, debuted an adaptive collection in 2009 when a quadriplegic client asked for custom clothing that fit her unique needs. Camilleri says that experience inspired her and opened her eyes to the power of design as a way to solve both fit and fashion challenges. According to her, “As a lifelong couture and custom designer, the experience allowed me to see the power of fashion design and its ability to impact lives. I saw it in a whole new light.”
Camilleri Relaunches 55-Piece Ready-to-Wear Adaptive Collection
Camilleri has released IZ Adaptive, an expanded apparel line designed for adults with physical disabilities. The new IZ Adaptive line features wardrobe basics for people with disabilities, both wheelchair users and those who are ambulatory. The collection includes men, women, and unisex apparel categories, and features tops, bottoms, jackets, coats, and underwear, with sizes in the range XS–3XL. The prices range from $36 for a t-shirt to $425 for a men’s suit, and the collection includes pea coats, seated and standing coats, and pants with design elements that include magnetic closures, pull tabs on zippers and pants, elastic waist bands and open back tops. The collection seeks to make getting dressed easier for everyone, while bringing more independence to people with disabilities. For example, tops include “open backs, closed by simple snaps, to epitomize an Ease-of-Dress philosophy. A-line cut reduces tightness around the waist and midsection while seated.”
According to the brand, around 60% of the IZ Adaptive collection is designed specifically for wheelchair users. According to the US Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, more than 40 million Americans, or 12.6% of the US population, reported that they had a disability. In its survey, the US Census Bureau defines disability status through six types of questions measuring serious difficulty with hearing, vision, cognition, walking or climbing stairs, and difficulty with self-care and independent living. Of the 40 million Americans who reported having a disability in the 2016 survey, more than 14 million said that they had difficulties with daily living activities such as dressing. In addition, around half of the respondents in the survey aged 75 years and above reported having a disability. Coresight Research estimates that the adaptive clothing market in the US will reach approximately $44.5 million in 2018 and will grow to $51.1 million by 2022, based on Euromonitor International’s estimate of the size of the US apparel market.
Camilleri Focused on Increasing Global Customer Reach with IZ Adaptive
Camilleri had launched her couture line in 1984 and has been a clothing designer for more than 30 years. She has featured in many fashion magazines, including Vogue and InStyle, and has dressed many movie stars, including Daniel Radcliffe, Mark Wahlberg, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie and David Bowie.
In 2009, Camilleri launched IZ Collection with designs that focused on the seated design frame. In 2016, she took a break from IZ Collection and focused on revamping her business model and expanding the collection to feature a broader product offering. She said that when she initially took a break, the outpouring of personal messages that she received from customers was overwhelming; customers wrote and expressed their love for brand IZ Adaptive’s designs. Camilleri had no intentions of resurrecting the brand but the overwhelming response from her customers and requests from major retailers to collaborate made her realize that she could use the opportunity to expand her brand’s reach. She used the brand’s hiatus to provide a more accessible price point and a new wholesale component—all contributing to an increased global reach. IZ Adaptive is presently available at www.IZAdaptive.com and will soon also feature at Zappos and Macy’s.
Macy’s vice president of diversity and inclusion, Kristyn Doar-Page, said, “We admire Izzy Camilleri’s passion for design and adaptive clothing, and are honored to offer the new IZ Adaptive line to our customers with disabilities looking for fashionable and accessible choices. With much needed solutions, from basics like tees, denim and coats, we know the thoughtful design and adaptive features of her pieces will truly resonate with our customer.”
Zappos will expand its adaptive offering by adding IZ Adaptive. Derek Flores, lead buyer at Zappos Adaptive said, “As Zappos Adaptive expands our product offering, we want to continue to work with brands that understand fashion just as much as function. IZ Adaptive is helping move that mission forward for our customers.”
#PerfectFit Campaign Targeted to Adaptive Community
IZ Adaptive has launched the #PerfectFit campaign, in which individuals with physical disabilities express on video their ideas of what makes the perfect fit. Since 2009, Camilleri and her team has been working with individuals with physical disabilities to understand their clothing and fit needs, and she said that she wanted the campaign to show how relatable her designs are with everyone’s life.
(#PerfectFit videos can be viewed at www.izadaptive.com/pages/perfectfit.)