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Manchester brand Kintsugi launches at Manchester Fashion Week and says it is the first UK brand for able-bodied, fashion conscious people as well as wheelchair users and those with prosthetic limbs.
Emma McClelland, who launched the brand this week, says, ‘Kintsugi is an inclusive fashion brand, creating on-trend womenswear with disabled women in mind. We use a universal design to make clothing that can be worn and enjoyed to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless of age or body type.’
McClelland says the brand has consulted the disabled community in designing its clothes. The small but effective adaptations made include making fastenings easier and less fiddly. The clothes are also designed to take into account how they will work in a seated position, maximising comfort and range of motion, and the functionality they provide for the wearer. The result is clothing for everyone.
‘Our collection is not exclusively for disabled people,’ McClelland continues. ‘What I’m trying to do is create inclusive fashion that can be worn by anyone. My disabled customers don’t want a separate offering when it comes to clothes – they want to wear the same as non-disabled people. So my aim is to design clothing that looks like any other – and can be worn by anyone – but makes life easier for people who are disabled or have certain health conditions that need to be taken into account.’
Speaking of the brand name, McClelland says, ‘The brand takes its name from the Japanese art form and philosophy of kintsugi, where broken pottery is repaired with gold lacquer – an important reminder that we do not need to hide our physical or emotional scars, as they are what make us unique.’
McClelland also encourges models with disabilities to apply to model (previous experience isn’t necessary). As show director Amanda Moss explains, ‘I have always encouraged models of all shapes and sizes to be on the catwalk. Because we are not sheep, we are individuals and we want to show off the collections to appeal to everyone. Fashion should not be pigeon holed into one area of traditionally tall, thin women. We’re not all made like that and we still want to wear fashionable clothes. Manchester Fashion Week ensures that fashion really is for everyone.’
Manchester Fashion Week is part of Lifestyle Events Ltd which has always promoted the ethos that fashion is all inclusive. Previous shows have included transgender models and models of all sizes to ensure the shows are diverse and welcoming.
Manchester Fashion Week will host a two day international trade show for textile manufacturers for the first time outside of London. They will partner with FashionablyIn on the exhibition, which is an excellent opportunity to meet buyers, fashion brands, retailers and designers and agents looking for global manufacturers and factories.
Manchester Fashion Week’s opening night show takes place 13 May at Hotel Football.
For more information, please visit manchesterfashionweek.com.