IZ Adaptive, the Toronto-based ready-to-wear apparel brand designed for adults with physical disabilities, will relaunch in September.
The brand was introduced in 2009 when Izzy Camilleri, a Canadian fashion designer, made the shift from rtw and made-to-measure clothing to accessible fashion for wheelchair users. Since closing the doors to customers at the end of 2016, Camilleri has focused on refreshing the business model (formerly called IZ Collection), which will have a broader product offering, more accessible price points and a new wholesale component.
“This market is important to me because it’s an area of fashion that’s so needed. There are so many choices available for able-bodied people, too many really. Our options are endless. We all want to look and feel great in everything we wear, and no one should be denied that,” said Camilleri.
“Creating this line of clothing requires out-of-the-box thinking, which is something I love to do. It’s all about listening and communicating what these clothes need to be with respect to both style and function,” she added.
In the past year and a half, inclusive design has gained mainstream interest as brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Target, Nike and Under Armour have introduced adaptive collections.
Zappos will add IZ Adaptive to its portfolio of adaptive clothes and shoes for fall.
The new IZ Adaptive line features wardrobe basics for people with disabilities, both wheelchair users and those who are ambulatory. The 55-piece launch collection includes Ts, denim and jackets across men’s, women’s and un-gender categories. Prices will range from $25 for a T-shirt to $425 for a men’s suit. Design elements include magnetic closures, pull tabs on zippers and pants, elastic waist bands and open-back tops to make getting dressed easier, while bringing more independence to people with disabilities. About 60 percent of the IZ Adaptive collection is designed specifically for wheelchair users.
Since 2009, Camilleri has worked closely with the disabled community to understand their fit needs and the brand will introduce a series of video interviews throughout the summer leading up to the fall launch.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than one billion people in the world (15 percent of the population) live with some form of disability, of whom nearly 200 million experience considerable difficulties in functioning.
Camilleri is known for designing the costumes for Canadian rock singer Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip for his final sold-out tour. She has also dressed Angelina Jolie and David Bowie and designed the fur coat worn by Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada.”