Accessibility in Streetwear: Lili Pázmány’s Unobstructed Collection
People with disabilities face unique challenges in finding clothing that is comfortable and easy to put on and remove, yet nevertheless suits their personal sense of style. Hungarian designer Lili Pázmány confronts these obstacles head-on in her aptly named Unobstructed collection, creating stylish streetwear for wheelchair users that has accessibility built into each piece.
Off-the-rack apparel largely fails to meet the needs of wheelchair users, often forcing people to sacrifice comfort for fashion. For instance, hard seams and embellishments can create pressure sores, while unaltered shirts and jackets ride up throughout the day. Clothes suited to able-bodied persons are much more difficult to put on and take off, which can make getting dressed in the morning take an hour or more. While adaptive clothing is a growing sub-category of apparel, a lot of traditional adaptive-wear neglects style in favour of functionality.
Lili Pázmány is very familiar with this struggle, taking inspiration for her collection from the experiences of her mother, who has multiple sclerosis. She recognised that general clothing lines were rarely suited to people with physical disabilities and consequently designed her clothes with accessibility and comfort in mind. Buckles are integrated into clothing for ease of use, enabling wearers to remove or add to their outfit with minimal effort. Skin-friendly material allows garments to be worn longer without the discomfort that comes from the harsher fabric of general wear.
Straps used for leg movement are prominent characteristics of jeans rather than mis-matched additions, providing depth and colour. Stating that “regardless of health conditions, everyone has the right to dress fashionably,” Pázmány ensures that functionality becomes a stylish feature, with bright lettering adding bold accents to the straps.
Inclusion is paramount to this collection. While designed specifically for wheelchair users, she realised that her collection may also attract able-bodied people and so ensured that the clothing worked for both sitting and standing positions. The core goal of accessibility inspired unique solutions and aesthetics, with jackets cut specifically for ease of removal. Areas of the body that bend are clothed in elastic material, providing flexibility as well as alternating textures and colours. Shapes and materials tailored to convenience for wheelchair users double as bold fashion trends for all.
The creation of unique and fashionable adaptive clothing is an important and inspiring endeavour, particularly given Pázmány’s personal connection to the challenges of disability. Her streetwear collection provides an opportunity for wheelchair users to dress easily and comfortably while also enabling them to express their identity through fashion. Equal opportunity is at the centre of Pázmány’s vision, and we at Casper & Casper applaud her for her initiative, consideration, and talent.