My observant yet creative mind has always meant I have had a keen eye for fashion, with me paying close attention to what those around me choose to wear. My interest has only grown stronger throughout the years, with me growing an understanding into the business side of the fashion industry, leading me to then carry out a Fashion Business and Promotion degree.
Whilst studying I found that although I am extremely creative, which allows me to understand what looks good visually, I also have an analytical mind, which allows me to understand and analyse the process behind the product. Both of these skills are ones that can be taken through to industry with me and supply me with the key attributes to succeed in my desired job role. My time at University has also allowed me to carry out a deep analysis of the fashion industry, including one key driver specifically being 'Inclusivity', which I heavily focused my Independent Final Project around.
For my Independent Final Project I designed an adaptive activewear range for Nike, with the aim of providing accessible and adaptive activewear, which was fashion forward, yet also met the needs of disabled consumers. Currently the disabled market are limited to what they can buy due to regular clothing not meeting their needs, or leaving them uncomfortable and not confident. Having a disability should not be a manufacturer’s later thought, it should be one of the first things considered when designing.
My overall research provided clear evidence of why the MYdentity range is so important. The MYdentity collection provides disabled consumers with more options in regards to their clothing purchases, reducing the feelings of being different and not being catered too. This provides consumers with disabilities the same access to clothing and fashion trends as non disabled consumers, ensuring they are included and taken into consideration, whilst also attracting them to improve their fitness lifestyle.
Whilst delving deeper into research for my Independent Final Project, I explored other challenges that disabled consumers come across when it comes to facing the fashion industry. Research shown that 92% of disabled consumers agree that they are less inclined to shop in-store due to poor in-store experience and inaccessibility, resulting in brick and mortar retail losing £267 million each month by not being accessible. Due to these findings, I decided to expand my project and designed a developed store for Nike which was highly accessible for disabled consumers, with the hope of creating a welcoming and diverse environment. Not only did this help tackle some of the downfalls in the fashion industry, but also helped me gain experience of using 3D software such as SketchUp.