Mindy and Oliver Scheier
Photo Credit: Runway of Dreams
What started with a simple pair of jeans for her son has turned into a life’s mission for Mindy Scheier and a collaboration with fashion giant Tommy Hilfiger. Mindy’s son Oliver was born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, which makes simple things like getting dressed a large task with plenty of limitations. Zippers and buttons are all but impossible to use. So when Oliver at age 8 came home from school asking for a pair of jeans like the other kids at school, Mindy was determined to make it happen.
Kids with disabilities are just like any other kids and it’s important for them to be able to feel that way.
Luckily, Mindy is a fashion designer, so what she couldn’t find, she created. By replacing zippers and buttons with magnetic closures, adjusting seams for mobility and figuring out alternate ways to get in and out of clothing, Oliver finally got to dress like the other kids at school.
“It was more important to me to have him walk into school with his head held high than to worry about the other things,” Scheier said in one interview. “That was when I realized a change needed to happen. Every kid and adult in the differently-abled community deserves to wear the same clothing that everybody else does.”
Mindy soon founded Runway of Dreams, a nonprofit organization working with the fashion industry to adapt mainstream clothing for the differently-abled community. By listening to the needs of differently-abled kids, they are able to identify the main challenges to overcome and bring function and fashion together.
Mindy and her team have narrowed down the needs to three primary areas:
1. Easy closures
2. Adjustibility for movement and comfort
3. Alternate ways to get in and out of the clothing
And finally, Mindy needed a partner to help pioneer the cause.
This week, the Tommy Hilfiger kids spring collection launched with its first adaptive clothing line, a collaboration with Runway of Dreams.
The fresh, fun styles of a beloved American brand with subtle modifications for kids with varying abilities, available in mass production—this is the beginning of Mindy and Oliver’s dream come true.
And they say they won’t stop until every clothing store has an adaptive clothing department. Because nobody should be limited in self-expression, no matter what their circumstances.
From all of us at SoCozy, we say bravo to Mindy and Oliver—you two are our idea of cool!