Everyone deserves a choice in what they wear. Whether or not you love fashion, or just get dressed out of basic necessity, putting on clothing is a basic human right. Having a disability doesn’t change that.
In recent years, the fashion and beauty industries have made significant strides in embracing diversity and inclusion in their product designs, campaigns, and in their willingness to learn. Though there is still a lot of work to be done, industry leaders are starting to recognize the importance of disability representation in our industry.
Monica Rastogi, executive director at Esteé Lauder Company, shares that “as an industry, we’re in the early stages [with disability inclusion]. The biggest crux is education. Education is where you dispel the myth that this consumer doesn’t shop beauty, because that is not the case.”
Five examples of brands who are committed to making the fashion and beauty industry accessible to all:
1. Victoria’s Secret and VS Pink Adaptive Line
Victoria's Secret debuted their line of adaptive intimates and lingerie at New York Fashion Week during the Runway of Dreams Fashion Revolution show.
The collection features adaptive bras and panties designed to accommodate a range of disabilities from arthritis and cerebral palsy to autism and wheelchair users. Products are available for purchase online and in select stores starting in October. Designed in a variety of colors and patterns, these garments look similar to the brand’s existing collections, but include hidden adaptive features such as magnetic closures on the front of a bra or in the side seams of panties. These are methods that are common in products created by other adaptive fashion brands including Magnaready, Liberare, and Slick Chicks.
To create the collection, Victoria's Secret collaborated with Gamut Management, a consulting firm that specializes in creating products for people with disabilities, which was founded by Runway of Dreams founder, Mindy Scheier. Victoria's Secret's decision to introduce adaptive lingerie marks a significant stride not only towards inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry, but in the public acknowledgement that people with disabilities do indeed engage in intimate and sexual activity. This collection is not just about undergarments; it's about transforming lives and fostering a more inclusive world where every person is valued and can feel sexy. Offering adaptive solutions at a brand with significant mainstream reach is a huge win for disability visibility.
2. CVS Pharmacy's Universal Tools Collection
Self-care aisle at CVS Pharmacy now offers inclusively designed universal beauty products as part of the One+Other brand expansion.
New accessible products were added to the recently launched One+Other brand (pronounced: one another), sold exclusively at CVS Pharmacy. The pharmacy’s diverse customer base can now shop online and instore for products created in collaboration with members of the disability community. From wide, open handles to non-slip, easy-to-grip silicone, these tools cater to everyone's needs, ensuring that self-care is truly for all. Included in the inclusive collection are six tools including tweezers, scissors, pumice stone, nail clippers, nail nippers, and a cuticle trimmer, priced between $6.49 to $16.99. These innovative self-care products are thoughtfully designed to be easier for people with disabilities to use and are a part of the pharmacy’s larger mission to ensure all customers are represented.
3. QVC’s Denim & Co. Adaptive
New products by private label brand Denim & Co. Adaptive added to the growing list of accessible brands available at QVC.
QVC’s private label brand Denim & CO. now offers adaptive versions of customer favorites from the fashion brand. The Adaptive & Accessible category at QVC launched earlier this year in March 2023 and is adding new products each month. Now, through this extension of Denim & CO., QVC can add its own private label creations to the category. This is the first adaptive collection that is designed, created, and sold exclusively by QVC. The five piece collection currently includes two pairs of pants, a jacket, and two shirts. Each piece features easy to use closures that don’t sacrifice comfort or style. Prices range from $60 to $80 and sizes range from XXS to 3X.
“With a focus on inclusivity and innovation, Denim & Co. Adaptive marks a significant milestone in QVC’s commitment to providing accessible fashion options, catering to a wider audience and offering engaging shopping experiences,” said Rachel Ungaro, GMM and VP of Fashion Merchandising for QVC. “This launch is a natural expansion of our classic and customer-loved Denim & Co. brand, with the same styles at the same price points — making the brand more inclusive than ever before”.
4. L’Oréal’s HAPTA Device
New handheld HAPTA beauty device allows people with limited hand and arm mobility to steadily apply their makeup.
L’Oréal announced the design of a motorized, handheld beauty device called HAPTA. HAPTA is a slender device that uses motion sensors and magnetic attachments that helps enable makeup application in 360-degree rotations and flexes at 180 degrees. It was announced in January 2023 that the pilot program would launch later this year for a collection with L’Oréal-owned Lancôme lipstick products. Click here to subscribe to L’Oréal’s updates on HAPTA.
5. GUIDE Beauty
Multi-award winning accessible beauty tools GUIDE anyone to achieve the perfect winged eyeliner.
With the mandate #ConfidenceByDesign, GUIDE Beauty’s line of products is uniquely designed to be enjoyed by many. GUIDE Beauty is led by founder, Terri Bryant, and Chief Creative Officer, Selma Blair, who were both diagnosed with medical conditions that impact their ability to apply makeup using standard products. “From concept through to exploration and development, our designs consider and account for the needs of the widest and most diverse user group possible,” explained Bryant when describing the brand’s collection.
GUIDE Beauty’s bestseller is the Eyeliner Duo: GUIDE Wand & GUIDE Line Luxe, Long-Wear Eyeliner, available exclusively on the GUIDE Beauty website. The award-winning GUIDE Wand design features a soft and flexible precision tip combined with a small visibility window which makes applying a winged eyeliner flick much easier. Implementing universal design principles in their work, Terri and Selma have worked with ergonomic experts to create products that truly guide your hand while you use them. GUIDE Beauty is a trailblazer in the beauty industry and represents the importance of inclusive company culture and innovative community-led design.