Fashion Inclusivity: Faduma Fellowship Launches First Adaptive-wear Collection During London Fashion Week
Represented by The Riviere Agency.
On Sunday at Devonshire Square, Faduma’s Fellowship launched their first adaptive-wear collection designed by fellowship award-winner Harriet Eccleston.
Faduma Farah, who was rendered paralysed from the neck down at 34 years old, founded the fellowship in 2021 to address the lack of choice for disabled people by sponsoring the creation of adaptive-wear collections. The collection features design innovations including magnetic buttons, relocated pockets, breathable fabric and hidden seams. Six wheelchair models rolled down the runway in style.
There are 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK and yet the availability of wheelchair user friendly fashion is often overlooked. This show addressed this problem with unique pieces in fresh colors for spring. Standout pieces included a fuchsia two piece suit with an adaptive friendly waistband and a camel colored coat suitable for a wheelchair user to stay warm on the go.
The foundation’s purpose is to inspire designers, design educational institutions, the fashion industry as a whole and the media that covers it to see, acknowledge and embrace wheelchair users. So that all wheelchair users can participate in, and see themselves rightly reflected in, this joyful aspect of our shared cultural life.
The show closed to a roaring crowd and an emotional speech from Faduma Farah reminding the world that wheelchair users matter.
Notable guests included Her Excellency, Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland QC, Influencer and Disability advocate Sarah Barlondo, Lady Mary Dawson and editors from Business of Fashion and Sunday Times.
About Faduma’s Fellowship
Suffering a near-fatal case of meningitis in 2011, Faduma was rendered paralysed from the neck down at only 34 years old. A mother to two young boys and the heartbeat of the Somali community in London, Faduma had once fostered ambitions to become a psychiatrist. By sheer will and her extraordinary faith, Faduma has managed to regain control of her neck, upper body and arm muscles and believes she can go further. As a lover of fashion and particularly of vibrant colour, Faduma has become frustrated in the last decade by the lack of clothing available to her being in a wheelchair. Fashion empowers each of us to express our identity. It’s an expression of dignity and visibility and a source of joy, fun and colour in life.
Faduma founded Faduma’s Fellowship as an opportunity for a gifted fashion designer to work in partnership with Faduma to bring to life a collection with wheelchair users at its heart. Harriet Eccleston was the successful designer selected for Faduma’s Fellowship. The first collection will be launched on Sunday 19th September, 2021, during London Fashion Week. Through Faduma’s Fellowship we hope to inspire designers, educational design institutions, the fashion industry as a whole and the media that covers it to see, acknowledge and embrace wheelchair users. So that all wheelchair users can participate in, and see themselves rightly reflected in, this joyful aspect of our shared cultural life.
About Harriet Eccleston
Faduma’s Fellowship winner announced as Derbyshire based Harriet Eccleston. Harriet, a graduate of Northumbria University and former pattern cutter at Paul Smith won the design competition after her proposal was reviewed and selected by the Faduma Fellowship industry panel. This will be the first adaptive-wear line Harriet has created, and her concept was supported by the research of twins Rebecca and Melissa Everett.
Harriet is the founder and designer of her own Derbyshire based womenswear label Harriet Eccleston, established in 2019. Inspired by generations of tailors, drapers and milliners in her family, Harriet’s fascination and appreciation for impeccable craftsmanship, quality and well-honed techniques is deeply rooted.
Fellow Northumbria University graduates, Rebecca and Melisa also studied Fashion and Business together at Manchester Metropolitan University. For their final thesis, in partnership with The Stroke Foundation, Rebecca and Melissa looked extensively into the lack of adaptive clothing and media recognition for otherly-abled young people. Their work was spotted by and featured on the BBC: ‘Disabled-friendly clothing created for fashion’s ‘forgotten audience’
About Oxford Fashion Studio
Since 2009 Oxford Fashion Studio, led by Carl Anglim and Tiffany Saunders, has helped 700+ designers from 70+ countries to launch collections into the UK, USA and European markets. The company began at Oxford University and then grew from there to London, New York, Milan and Paris producing shows and campaigns for independent designers across all four fashion capitals. The company has produced runway shows, speaker events, retail events, photography and art exhibitions, film screenings, networking events, live photo shoots, live fashion sketching, city-wide late openings of high street retailers and museum lates including a fashion takeover of the Ashmolean Museum attracting 2,500+ attendees. This year Oxford Fashion Studio is set to play a leading role in helping designers, fashion brands and the industry as a whole to bounce back from Covid by launching a new platform for emerging designers, by introducing a sustainable design programme and by delivering Faduma’s Fellowship.