It happens every single morning, everywhere in the world. People wake up, get out of bed and put on their clothes for the day. But for people living with a disability, simple things like buttons, tags or unforgiving openings can turn this ordinary act into a major struggle.
It’s estimated that more than a billion people around the world live with a disability (World Health Organization, 2023). In the past, most clothing in the adaptive space has looked and felt medical: designed for function, with no room for style or self-expression. We set out to change this with Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive, focusing on style, choice and freedom.
We launched Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive for kids in Spring 2016 and for adults in 2017. It’s now available in North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia, China and Japan on tommy.com and with select retail partners. The line offers our same iconic prep-meets-modern styles – thoughtfully designed with access in mind. Pieces with the power to give our consumers the independence and confidence to show off their personal style.
When the time came to design the first Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive pieces, it was important that we partnered with the community from the start. After talking to people with a wide range of needs, we found innovative design twists that make getting dressed easier. These include using magnets or VelcroⓇ closures instead of zippers and buttons, incorporating elastics so wearers can easily adjust their hems, and finding alternative constructions, like shirts designed be put on arms-first instead of over the head. When exploring new designs we worked with the community again, executing extensive ongoing qualitative research and wear testing to make sure every piece is created as thoughtfully as possible.
With my personal experience raising children with Autism, I’ve seen firsthand the different needs getting dressed in the morning can require. Since launching Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive in 2017, it’s always held a special place in my heart because I know what a difference it is making in the lives of those living with a disability. I’m so excited to continue expanding the collection even further.
Mr. Tommy Hilfiger
Our commitment to end-to-end access doesn’t stop with our collections. In North America, we created a ‘shop by solution’ feature on Tommy.com to help guide Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive shoppers to the pieces that best fit their needs and lifestyles. Orders from the collection arrive in accessible packaging designed to make opening and returns as easy as possible.
Some of the changes may seem small, like high-low waistbands don’t ride down in wheelchairs or softer fabrics for sensory issues. Others are major, like a website you don’t need to see to shop. We also know that there is still room to grow. Our hope is that by creating Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive, we’re coming closer to creating a fashion industry that welcomes everybody – and every body.