Tommy Hilfiger Launches Clothes for People with Disabilities

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. adaptive / əˈdæp tɪv / (adj) – able to change or adjust to become more suited for something

    To better protect your eyes, adaptive lenses change color depending on the brightness of the environment.

  2. conventional / kənˈvɛn ʃə nl / (adj) – ordinary or common

    The fashion designer used new materials on her clothes instead of the conventional ones.

  3. prosthetic / prɒsˈθɛt ɪk / (adj) – not real but made to look as though it is

    The athlete had to use prosthetic arms because he lost his arms in an accident.

  4. mainstream / ˈmeɪnˌstrim / (adj) – known or accepted by the public

    Malls usually sell mainstream brands.

  5. endeavor / ɛnˈdɛv ər / (v) – to make an effort to do something

    The firm endeavored to support the less fortunate people by launching a charitable event for them.


Read the text below.

American clothing brand Tommy Hilfiger [TOM-ee HIL-fig-uhr] has launched Tommy Adaptive, a collection for adults with disabilities.

The clothes in the collection do not look different from other Tommy Hilfiger clothes, but they are designed to be easier to put on. Instead of the conventional buttons and zippers, the clothes have Velcro and magnets to make them easier for persons with disabilities (PWDs) to fasten. The clothes’ seams and openings were also made adjustable so that they could fit any body shape or size and be comfortably worn around prosthetic limbs.

Currently, the designs are only available in the United States, but Tommy Hilfiger plans to release the collection worldwide.

The collection received positive response from Disability Rights UK. Philip Connolly, the organization’s Policy and Development Manager, said that in the past, minor designers had also created clothes especially for PWDs. However, Tommy is the first mainstream brand that endeavored to support the sector.

Before this project, Tommy Hilfiger also released a collection for children with disabilities in partnership with a charitable organization called Runway of Dreams. Connolly said that the clothing company can take its efforts further by providing job opportunities to PWDs and involving them in the planning, creation, and sales of the Adaptive clothes.

Meanwhile, another organization is helping PWDs through fashion in another way. FTL Moda, which organizes the New York Fashion Week annually, partnered with Fondazione Vertical, an Italian foundation that supports research on spinal cord injuries.

The two organizations joined forces to feature models with disabilities in this year’s fashion show. Among those who graced the catwalk was Jamie Brewer, an American actress with Down syndrome, and British model Jack Eyers, who wears a prosthetic leg.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Why do you think Tommy Hilfiger decided to create clothes for people with disabilities? Discuss.
• Do you think other mainstream brands will soon follow in the footsteps of Tommy Hilfiger?

Discussion B

• Aside from clothes, what other products should be customized to help PWD? Discuss.
• In your country, what companies have also taken action to make their products or services more PWD-friendly?