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Victoria’s Secret to debut adaptive lingerie at New York Fashion Week

Victoria Secret's Adaptive lingerie at NY Fashion Week

In recent years, the fashion industry has witnessed a transformative shift towards inclusivity and diversity, with an increased focus on adaptive clothing to cater to individuals with diverse physical abilities and needs. Among the many areas that have seen significant improvements is lingerie. Adaptive lingerie, designed to meet the requirements of people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or unique body shapes, has emerged as a vital segment of the fashion landscape.

In September, the renowned intimates retailer, Victoria’s Secret, will present a collection catering to individuals with physical and sensory disabilities during the non-profit Runway of Dreams’ runway show. Runway of Dreams aims to increase visibility for people with disabilities in the fashion industry, and its founder, Mindy Scheier, collaborated with Victoria’s Secret after inviting their executives to a fashion show last year. Mindy highlighted the importance of understanding that disabled women desire to feel sexy, just like any other woman, and emphasized the significance of comprehending the needs of this consumer demographic.

The Inspiration

Victoria’s Secret worked closely with the charity to develop the adaptive collection and also partnered with them to cast the show. Lydia Smith, Victoria’s Secret’s chief diversity officer, acknowledged the vast market potential of people with disabilities, highlighting that this venture would be their first step in serving this underserved market segment. The new garments will be designed to accommodate various disabilities, such as arthritis, cerebral palsy, and autism, and will be integrated into the Victoria’s Secret and Pink collections.

The development process involved valuable insights from Mindy and a focus group, leading to an eye-opening revelation for Lydia. A man with cerebral palsy in the focus group shared his experience of being able to take off his wife’s bra, an intimate act he had previously struggled with due to dexterity issues. This realization highlighted the importance of inclusivity and accessibility, and it inspired Victoria’s Secret to design lingerie that addresses the unique needs and desires of individuals with disabilities, promoting intimacy and confidence for all.

Here are the factors that make adaptive lingerie a great step in the right direction

Embracing Inclusivity: Society has grown increasingly cognizant of the need to be more inclusive and understanding towards individuals with physical disabilities or medical conditions. Standard lingerie often lacks the design elements necessary to accommodate specific needs, leaving many individuals feeling excluded from the traditional concept of intimate apparel. Adaptive lingerie addresses this disparity by considering the diverse range of bodies and ensuring that everyone feels represented and valued.

Comfort and Well-Being: Comfort is a crucial aspect of lingerie, and adaptive designs take this to a whole new level. For those with sensitive skin or medical conditions, the choice of fabric and construction can make a significant difference in their daily lives. Adaptive lingerie incorporates softer materials, seamless stitching, and adjustable features to minimize discomfort and irritation, promoting better overall well-being.

Enhancing Self-Confidence: Intimate apparel plays a vital role in boosting self-confidence and body positivity. Unfortunately, many individuals with unique body shapes or physical conditions may struggle to find lingerie that makes them feel confident and beautiful. Adaptive lingerie caters to these specific needs, offering designs that flatter diverse body types and empower individuals to embrace their uniqueness with pride.

Support and Functionality: Traditional lingerie often prioritizes aesthetics over functionality, leaving little room for those who require extra support. Adaptive lingerie addresses this imbalance by providing bras, panties, and other pieces with added support, adaptive closures, and easy-to-use fasteners, ensuring that wearers can feel comfortable and secure throughout the day.

Promoting Independence: For individuals with disabilities or limited mobility, adaptive lingerie can significantly improve independence and ease of dressing. Thoughtfully designed features such as magnetic closures, front-opening bras, or adjustable straps empower wearers to manage their intimate apparel without assistance, fostering a sense of autonomy and confidence.

Breaking Stigmas: The development and widespread acceptance of adaptive lingerie contribute to dismantling stereotypes surrounding physical disabilities and medical conditions. By creating an inclusive and accepting environment in the fashion industry, we move towards a society that embraces diversity and understands that beauty and self-worth are not confined to conventional standards.

Opening Market Opportunities: The rising demand for adaptive lingerie presents a unique opportunity for the fashion industry to expand its market reach. By catering to an underserved segment of consumers, brands can tap into a lucrative market while also promoting inclusivity and social responsibility.

Thus, the need for adaptive lingerie goes beyond mere fashion trends. It represents a powerful statement about the importance of inclusivity, self-confidence, and overall well-being. As society moves towards greater acceptance and understanding, the fashion industry must continue to prioritize the creation of adaptive clothing, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the dignity of wearing beautiful, comfortable, and empowering intimate apparel.

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