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Brief Published: 5 Dec 2019

Students Design Clothes With Disability in Mind


Students at Manchester Metropolitan University have developed a clothing line in collaboration with the Stroke Association. The pieces are specifically designed to tackle issues faced by youths with physical disabilities when buying and wearing clothes.

Wider cuffs for easier dressing, magnetised zips, and hooks in place of buttons are just some of the features of the new clothing line, designed by twins Rebecca and Melissa Everett –MA Fashion Business students at Manchester Metropolitan University. The project came about after the school was approached by Caron McLuckie, a Manchester mother who is a full-time carer to her 17-year-old son Emile, who uses a wheelchair since suffering a spinal cord stroke when he was 14. Emile struggled to find clothes that were both fashionable and functional, and felt that this ostracised him from his peers.


The students’ collection aims to address the issues identified by young people with a range of disabilities, without sacrificing the style and design of the clothes. By speaking with this cohort, they discovered that in addition to accessing fashionable clothing options, independence was a main priority, as many expressed the desire for clothes they could easily put on and take off themselves, without any assistance. 

By working directly with their target audience, the students could tackle their specific needs, and focus on what is most important to this demographic.

For more on designing for disability see Designing Desirable Disability Aids: Ergonomic Cutlery and Grace Beauty Launches Disability-Friendly Tools. To learn more about purpose-led design, see Instagangs: Design for Purpose and Nike for Nurses: New Sneakers Designed for Medical Workers.