Runway of Dreams Adds Some Love to NYFW with Fashion + Passion Event

by Tom White

In a fusion of fashion and affection, the Runway of Dreams Foundation, a trailblazer in advocating for inclusivity and confidence through fashion for people with disabilities, joined forces with Dateability, a pioneering dating app for those with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Together, they unveiled the “Passion + Fashion” event in New York City, aligning with the grand finale of New York Fashion Week (NYFW). The gathering highlighted the importance of Adaptive and Universally Designed clothing and the important role that clothing plays in the lives of people with disabilities. Six couples were matched brought together by Dateability, the innovative dating app designed for individuals with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

Six Couples’ First Meeting
The “Passion + Fashion” event spotlighted six couples, brought together by Dateability, who experienced their first in-person encounter in a supportive setting that focused on the universal essence of companionship. Taking the limelight, these couples graced the runway, sharing their personal narratives while wearing fashion that resonated with their personalities. The clothing, designed with inclusivity in mind, featured practical yet stylish easy on and off elements such as hook and loop closures and elastic shoelaces that do not need to be tied. Additionally, the fashions, including pants and shoes, were thoughtfully crafted with Adaptive and Universal Fashion features, ensuring both aesthetic appeal and functional accessibility.

Mindy Scheier, the visionary Founder of The Runway of Dreams Foundation, expressed her enthusiasm for the event, “Fashion is a form of self-expression, a way to boost confidence and a tool for empowerment. ‘Passion + Fashion’ is part of our ongoing mission to make fashion accessible and inclusive for all, breaking down barriers and celebrating diversity in the most beautiful way – through love and style.”

A Dialogue Through Design
“Passion + Fashion” underscored the significance of Adaptive and Universal Fashion, illuminating how thoughtfully designed clothing profoundly impacts the lives of individuals with disabilities.

Jacqueline Child, the co-founder of Dateability, shared her personal insights during the event, stating, “Dateability is honored to partner with Runway of Dreams for a night dedicated to celebrating inclusivity and love. We are thrilled to be giving our community the opportunity to express themselves through fashion and beauty while also making connections and building community. Events like this are so important because disabled people are too often excluded from society, especially from things of this nature. This event sets a precedent that disabled people care about looking and feeling beautiful and deserve to have the spotlight shine on them.”

 Insights from the Heart
After the initial runway encounter, a heartfelt panel discussion led by Mindy Scheier took center stage, featuring the couples sharing their personal narratives. This segment delved into the complex interplay between fashion, dating, and the experience of living with disabilities. Attendees gained an in-depth understanding of the unique challenges and victories faced by individuals in these realms. The conversation shed light on the essential role of Adaptive fashion in enhancing self-expression and building confidence, and the importance of platforms like Dateability in forging genuine connections. The panelists’ stories highlighted the transformative impact of inclusivity in fashion and underscored the need for greater visibility and representation of people with disabilities in all facets of life, including the spheres of dating and relationships.

Celebrity Support for Fashion + Passion
The evening culminated with a surprise appearance by Steve Way, the Co-Executive Producer of the eagerly awaited film “Good Bad Things.” Steve shared his personal connection to the Runway of Dreams Foundation and the relevance of discussing the film, which centers on a protagonist with a disability navigating love through a dating app.“What I love about Runway of Dreams is that it’s something that we can say is ours. There are so many spaces that are not accessible to us, so many spaces that are not safe for us, so many spaces where we are not welcome. But, Runway of Dreams is for us.”

Presented by APG

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