fashion for all: runway of dreams foundation

Illustration by Ireland Klicman
Illustration by Ireland Klicman

Most people don’t have to think twice when heading to the mall or store for a shopping haul. But for those with disabilities shopping, whether online or in-person, is more than just a hassle– it’s a burden. That’s where Runway of Dreams Foundation comes in. The nonprofit organization was started by Mindy Scheier for her son who is disabled. Her son has muscular dystrophy, which has always hindered his clothing options including everyday basics and closet staples like jeans. Runway of Dreams’ mission is to “work toward a future of inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities.” 

The foundation focuses on living out its mission by the various programs it pursues. Adaptive runway shows are one of the biggest programs. These shows and events feature big retailers like Target, Zappos, Kohl’s and more. What better place to challenge the adaptive fashion stigma than New York Fashion Week? Runway of Dreams’ programs aren’t limited to fashion shows: they also include design scholarships, internships, adaptive wardrobe grants and high school and college clubs. 

Perhaps the perfect collaboration, Kent State started its collegiate Runway of Dreams club this fall semester. Events that the KSU club plans on hosting are a panel discussion, Kent’s very own adaptive runway show with students for models, fundraisers and more. To get a deeper look into KSU’s efforts, A Magazine talked to Runway of Dreams President Bri Cummings. 

As a double major in both fashion merchandising and fashion design, Cummings is becoming an industry expert. 

“The mission of Runway of Dreams is important to me because I myself am disabled and although I do not have many clothing restrictions myself, I understand the need for adaptive clothing,” Cummings said.

Cummings went on to explain that Runway of Dreams is helping to make adaptive fashion more accessible, more prevalent and less stigmatized in the fashion industry. Shedding light on adaptive fashion allows for popular retailers to see the demand and do their part. Kent State’s School of Fashion has received many high rankings by many organizations including Business of Fashion. Therefore, it only makes sense to indulge Kent’s students in the mission of Runway of Dreams. 

“The students of Kent State are the future, so if these students know the importance of adaptive clothing then there’s hope that it will influence their work in the future,” Cummings said. 

Disabled people are people too, and their voices need to be heard. No one should be deprived of a shopping spree at their local retailers because of their disability.

Here’s how Kent State students can get involved in the local Runway of Dreams club:

All students are encouraged to attend all meetings to benefit the most from being a member of Kent State’s Runway of Dreams Club.

Support Student MediaHi, I’m Grace Avery, the Editor In Chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.

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