The University of Michigan’s chapter of Runway of Dreams hosted Inclusion for EveryBODY, a fashion show dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities in the Michigan League on Friday. Runway of Dreams is a nonprofit organization working towards making the fashion industry more inclusive. Runway of Dreams worked with shoe company Zappos Adaptive to put on the fashion show.
Runway of Dreams has previously helped the disabled community at the national level by hosting clothing donations, employment opportunity initiatives, design workshops and scholarship programs. Last year, the U-M chapter of Runway of Dreams collaborated with other student organizations to host a fashion show titled “Diversity in Fashion” at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
For this year’s event, Runway of Dreams partnered with several fashion companies that focus on creating custom garments for those with disabilities: No Limbits, One Leg Up, Billy, Spoonie Threads, Sparkies, Love Zoey, Mai We Care, Socket Socks and Dawn Adaptive. The clothing products from each of these companies are tailored to fit disabled people comfortably and fashionably.
The night started off with a social hour where guests could mingle and enjoy refreshments before the show. Meanwhile, the models and crew members were busy getting ready to take to the runway.
An all-female acapella group, the Sopranos, started the show off with a performance. Following the performance, Runway of Dreams members gave their opening remarks, emphasizing their motto: “when there is a will, there is a runway.”
“My favorite part of the event is seeing all of our months’ work of planning come to life and seeing how appreciative and grateful everyone is on show day,” Potocsky said. “We want to spread a message that sticks in a beautiful and uplifting way.”
“We ask the models and their family members some questions about them in order to gauge their interests and also discover their favorite songs so we make them feel like superstars as they walk down the runway,” Potocsky said.
Danielle Kaplan, co-vice president of Runway of Dreams, spoke with The Daily about how she got involved with the organization.
“I was personally interested in this organization because of my background in fashion design,” Kaplan said. “I started sewing when I was eight years old and have always loved fashion. I really liked how Runway of Dreams showcases the adaptive side of fashion.”
Chloe Spingler, co-president of Runway of Dreams, told The Daily she hopes the event encouraged the audience to think about the universal power of fashion to make people feel confident and beautiful.
“It was natural to put my passion to great use as part of a diverse group of students with different interests, majors, and perspectives using fashion to change the world, in other words, to empower people with disabilities through adaptive fashion,” Spingler said. “Providing (the models) with an audience cheering them on, a stage to rock, a friend to talk to, and support along the way is what our show is really about.”
Daily Staff Reporter Emma Lapp can be reached at [email protected].
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