A new Kickstarter raising funds to create luxury shirts designed with special needs people in mind (but appropriate for all wearers) was born of a lack of options for integrated clothing items in that realm — but unlike mass-market garments of the same function, Mianzi’s shirts are appropriate for all wearers.
Richard Nachum Kligman’s Kickstarter to get Mianzi Fashion off the ground has hit a third of its goal in four days, and it’s not difficult to see why. Many popular Kickstarters back projects that are just fun or just popular, and it’s kind of cool to see one that innovates to create a product that makes life easier for people with special needs.
On the page (using a site where folks with great ideas can hook up with small bits of funding), Kligman explains how the concept of Mianzi Fashion was born — and why the shirts appeal not just to special needs clientele, but everyone.
Kligman explains that his son Moishy requires a bib due to cerebral palsy, and searching high and low led him to realize no products exist to address the need for a shirt and a bib concurrently. While that was frustrating, the entrepreneur also saw the opportunity to bring such an item to others with the same issue:
“My son Moishy lost oxygen at birth and has cerebral palsy and one of the outcomes from this was low muscle tone in his mouth causing him to drool. After looking around for a product that was high quality, quick-dry, anti-bacterial, anti-odor, and absorbent and of course beautifully designed and super comfortable, I realized it did not exist and so Mianzi was born.”
The project’s Kickstarter describes clothing that is luxury-oriented first, and subsequently appealing to a broad range of customers, not just those with special needs. Explaining the name “Mianzi” means “bamboo” in Swahili as well as “a face of dignity and prestige” in Chinese, the line’s creator explains how versions of the shirt in the first run will have special features for those with special needs on request — but can be ordered without:
“For people with disabilities or the elderly that have a drooling problem, we add in an extra layer of material in the inside of the shirts across the chest area. This works to keep our most important customers both dry and comfortable. In addition, we have snaps placed on the shoulder to make these shirts easier to put on and take off since many special needs people, including my son, has a head sensitivity. Please make sure to let us know you want the ‘special’ version … for
Mianzi’s shirts are 70% bamboo rayon and 30% organic cotton, combining bamboo’s benefits with cotton’s durability. And if you back the campaign but don’t need more shirts, Mianzi will pass your shirt on to a person in need of the shirts’ innovative features.