To highlight the importance of adaptive fashion design, the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Society partnered with the nonprofit Open Style Lab to host a runway show called Double Take. The show will take place on February 8 at 10 am at 608 Fifth Avenue in New York.
SMA is a progressive neuromuscular disease that can affect walking, agility, and overall strength, making certain joints, cuts, fitness, and weight-bearing clothing accessible.
Double Take is the first fashion show to involve the SMA community from start to finish, delivering a message from concept to collaborating on clothing designs, walking and rolling the runway leading up to New York Fashion Week, and is dedicated to all people with disabilities. .
The show seems to allow people with disabilities to occupy a space often closed to them, and is inviting the SMA community to do a “double take” of the world not because of their disability, but because of their style and individuality.
Prior to the event, the Open Style Lab adaptive fashion design fellows, some of whom are disabled themselves, work with members of the SMA community to create and modify garments based on each flight attendant’s personal style and needs. The garments feature hidden magnetic closures without the hassle of buttoning. There are stretch knit panels instead of zippers, for easier wheelchair work, and other adjustments.
Double Take is sponsored by biotechnology company Genentech’s SMA My Way program, which aims to support people affected by SMA by sharing their experiences and building connections in the community. Genentech, which discovers, develops, manufactures and markets drugs to treat serious and life-threatening medical conditions, is a member of the Roche Group, headquartered in South San Francisco, California.
“Thanks to Genentech’s support, Double Take has given me the opportunity to explore forward-thinking fashion designs that embrace all abilities. I’ve worked with many people living with spinal muscular atrophy to create clothes that fit their personality and personal needs, including Shane Burkaw, who has SMA and uses a power wheelchair. To adapt Shane’s purple velvet suit, I added an invisible zipper to the back of the jacket and stretch panels at the elbows to accommodate easy dressing and folding. The matching custom-made velvet pants had two layers – a comfortable L-shaped base and an alternate layer that goes over it,” Andrea Saleh, Open Style Lab 2022 Fellow told Double Take.
“For someone with spinal muscular atrophy who sits down all the time, jackets can be difficult and frustrating to wear, so sexy. We ended up wearing a custom dress for our wedding, and it looked amazing, but it was still hard to wear. For the Double Take project, sponsored by Genentech, from dynamic fashion designers “By working with us, we created a suit that not only looks great, but is comfortable and easy to wear. Ultimately, Double Take is about celebrating differences, not trying to erase them. It allows you to be fashionable – to embrace the things that make you unique,” said Shane Burkaw, who models on the runway with his wife, Hannah.