Toronto-based designer Izzy Camilleri is best known for her work styling celebrities such as David Bowie, Angelina Jolie and Meryl Streep. But her latest collection, released this month, has one major difference: it is designed for people with disabilities.
After doing some custom work in the early 2000s for a client who was quadriplegic, Camilleri had her “eyes opened” to how existing clothing did not necessarily work for women using a wheelchair. For example, having a “seated frame” meant that many traditionally designed trousers rode down or dug into her client’s waist. At the time, “adaptive clothing” – clothes made with disabled people in mind – barely existed; when it did, it was not aimed at fashion-conscious young adults. “Most of what was out there were clothes for [older people] living in long-term care facilities,” Camilleri says. “I realised there was nothing for younger people. [I was] motivated to fill this void.”
In fact, Camilleri became so passionate about it that, in 2009, she released the revolutionary IZ collection, one of the world’s first fashion lines created for wheelchair users. Trousers do not ride down at the back or push on the wearer’s waist. Coats are cut so [...]