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Hilfiger creates fashion line for people with disabilities

  • NEW YORK TIMES

    Tommy Hilfiger at a party he hosted at the Palazzo Corsini during Pitti Uomo in Italy earlier this year. With retail traffic slowing and apparel brands fighting harder than ever for customers, Hilfiger’s namesake clothing brand is going after a largely untapped market: people with disabilities.

With retail traffic slowing and apparel brands fighting harder than ever for customers, Tommy Hilfiger is going after a largely untapped market: people with disabilities.

The fashion brand owned by PVH Corp. is launching an adult clothing line with adjusted seams and openings that allow caretakers to dress the wearer — a move to build on a collection it created for kids last year. The company also has added magnetic closures to the clothes, making it easier to pull them over the head or get dressed with one hand.

Making clothes for disabled shoppers may seem like a niche market, but there are millions of potential customers in the U.S. and around the world — and they get short shrift from most brands. Hilfiger, 66, describes the effort as part of “the democratization of fashion.”

The so-called adaptive clothing line, announced today, consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based on its sportswear collection. Pants will have Velcro closures and magnetic flies and zippers, as well as adjusted leg openings and hems that accommodate leg braces and orthotics.

Tommy Hilfiger developed the lineup after the success its collection for children in the spring of 2016.

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