A paralyzed designer confined to a wheelchair came up with a brilliant idea. Jeans for people who are in the same situation.
For people in wheelchairs, regular clothes just don’t fit well, so Heidi McKenzie — a T4 paraplegic woman paralyzed in a car accident in 2007 at the age of 21 — has designed a collection of jeans dubbed Alter Ur Ego, for people who use wheelchairs, according to Mashable.
When Heidi took part in the 2012 Ms. Wheelchair Kentucky, she realized she was not the only one with this problem. The paralyzed designer met other women who wanted to be fashionable while sitting on their wheelchairs.
The 29-year-old woman teamed up with designer Kristin Alexandra Tidwell to create a comfortable, yet fashionable line of jeans for men and women who are confined to wheelchairs. The not-so-pricey pieces of clothing are made of Spandex, with large side pockets, a high-waisted back, a pressure control panel for the midsection, and a catheter opening.
This paralyzed designer is trying to turn her idea into a booming business and has started a funding page asking for help. So far, McKenzie has raised a little over $10,000.
“We are designing adaptable clothing for people in wheelchairs. All the fashion and function, because when you look good you feel good!”
Heidi had dreams of being a designer before the devastating car accident that left her in a wheelchair and is now realizing her wishes. After graduating from a small business program and attending a program geared towards starting a clothing line, she told the website of how things are moving forward.
“I originally wanted to have a retail store, but once I figured I could make a difference firsthand with being in a wheelchair and design adaptable clothing, I was determined to do it. Most adaptable clothing is targeted towards the elderly, and I wanted something fashionable that everyone would be able to express their alter ego through their fashion.”
“It’s mainly a feeling of confidence in knowing that these jeans were made for someone in a wheelchair and they’re fashionable, so a lot of people will notice the pockets right on the side. I’ve had some people (who aren’t in a wheelchair) comment, ‘I want some of those’ or those that are say, ‘I haven’t worn jeans in X amount of years because I can’t find one that will work for me.'”
The paralyzed designer said her goal is to create a full line of clothing which includes tops, dresses, and jackets that will give those who use it “confidence and breaks down social barriers.”
[Image via Instagram]