ASOS Teamed Up With A Para-Athlete To Design A Jumpsuit For Wheelchair Users

"It's about making fashion accessible."

Fashion should be for all, able-bodied and differently-abled people alike. But while there are some adaptive clothing brands with designs meant for all abilities — such as Tommy Hilfiger's adaptive clothing range and the clothes designed at Parsons New School of Design's Open Style Lab — we still have far to go to make shopping accessible to everyone.  

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Clothing brand ASOS is taking one step in the right direction with their All-in-One jumpsuit adapted for wheelchair users.

For the launch, ASOS collaborated with Para-Athlete and sports journalist Chloe Ball-Hopkins who was born with arthrogryposis. She explains on her website this means she was born without hips, and her "feet were bent up to [her] shins" At the age of 4, she was diagnosed with nemaline myopathy, a rare form of muscular dystrophy and she uses a wheelchair.

In an Instagram post revealing the jumpsuit she created with ASOS, she states that she spent months working with the brand to create a piece that is for everyone.

"I have been working with @asos to create a fashionable, yet practical waterproof all in one," she explained, "Not just for people like me in a chair but for anyone. It's about making fashion accessible!"

The jumpsuit, which retails for $64, has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The jacket and pants zip together to turn into a jumpsuit that's fully waterproof — including the zippers. What's more, it has adjustable cuffs to tweak the sleeve length and a longer hem in the back in case the piece begins to ride up. It has a relaxed, baggy fit and launched in sizes 0 to 14.

The piece is decorated with a pastel tie-dye print making it fashionable in addition to being functional. 

The athlete, who hopes to compete in the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo, explained to Racked that the idea for the jumpsuit was planted after she attended the Splendour Festival in Nottingham, England in 2017. Due to the rainy weather, she was struggling with an umbrella and plastic rain poncho. She found it difficult to move her wheelchair and ended up getting wet and leaving before the festival was over.

About a year later, the waterproof jumpsuit arrived.

The piece follows Tommy Hilfiger's adaptive clothing range and the Open Style Lab Works at Parsons New School of Design which aims to promote designs for people of all abilities. 

ASOS and Ball-Hopkins have been praised for the inclusive design, and the Para-Athlete is ready to do more. When she announced the jumpsuit on Instagram she posed the question, "So, what should be next?!" 

Furthermore, she told Racked that she's going to look for more opportunities to collaborate with fashion brands.

(H/T: Glamour)

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