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Beauty innovators collaborate

Dear friends and supporters,

fashion model

Model is wearing exclusive CLFF design jeans with an altered and embellished crop. Photo by Alternative Noise Productions

The definition of the word “beauty” is expanding and we couldn’t be more excited! For far too long people with disabilities were left out of the world of fashion and beauty because it wasn’t accessible to us. However, thanks to collaborative efforts like (dis)Abled Beauty, that’s all changing.

What started many years ago as a woman’s desire for a stylish cochlear implant (CI) and her friendship with a fashion major, lead to the manifestation of (dis)Abled Beauty.

Tameka Ellington, assistant professor of fashion at Kent State University and Stacey Lim, assistant professor of audiology at Central Michigan University are friends and co-curators of this groundbreaking exhibit.

(dis)Abled Beauty

(dis)Abled Beauty

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to see the (dis)Abled Beauty exhibit recently, which is currently at the Kent State University museum. It was amazing! Several niche fashion designers, entrepreneurs, and organizations are developing innovative methods of meeting the complex fashion needs of people with disabilities.

The exhibit includes high style prosthetic covers by ALLELS studio, jeans designed for people with Down Syndrome by Downs Designs, shirts with magnetic buttons for those with dexterity impairments by Runway of Dreams, and stylish clothes for adults with asymmetrical body-types due to physical disability by Classy Little Fashions Foundation.

That’s right! We are part of the exhibit!

There will be an ALLELS reception and lecture on February 18th at the Bit Factory and Spectrum Gallery in Akron, Ohio. The event is free and open to the public. It will be an excellent opportunity to hear what some of the artists and technologists have to say about their work. In representing Classy Little Fashions Foundation, I will be among the panel of lecturers and I am ecstatic! For further details about this exciting event, see the (dis)Abled Beauty press release.

 

Keepin’ it classy,

Jane Hash, Co-Founding Director

We’re a classy family

Dear friends and supporters,

Get comfortable folks because we have some exciting updates to share with you!

First, back in May, Classy Little Fashions Foundation turned two years old! It’s amazing how fashion disparities for professionals with disabilities evolved into a problem solving organization. You can learn more about our history by following this link.

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Second, thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, we were able to purchase a heavy-duty Bernina sewing machine that allows us to now easily construct leather accessories for clients — such as holsters, shoes, belts, and bags. (We will keep you updated on the timelines.)

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Last but not least, our third exciting bit of news is…we now share production lines with Lilly Fiona Designs! An Apparel Design and Manufacturing student at Texas Tech University, Alicia McDonald, is the founder and sole designer behind this rising star label.

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If her name sounds familiar to you, it’s because Alicia has been CLFF’s dedicated intern for the past year. While her career is moving forward, she is still a member of the Classy Little Fashions Foundation family. By sharing production lines with her label, CLFF will benefit from shared equipment and we’ll continue to have access to the creative design genius herself.

Lilly Fiona

Alicia is just returning from a whirlwind, three-week fashion tour of Europe and we are excited to see the new line she has been working on as she travels.

We will have more exciting announcements in the very near future, so remember to come back to our blog often!

Keepin’ it classy!

Jane Hash, Co-Founding Director

Jeans of our dreams are becoming a reality!

Happy Leap Day, classy friends!

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CLFF Exclusive Design – cuffed & scruffed jeans

As I sit here wearing my favorite pair of jeans, I am reminded what an exciting time in fashion history this is. Trendy and timely clothing is finally becoming accessible to men, women, and children with disabilities.

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CLFF Exclusive Design – Embroidered trim jeans

While Classy Little Fashions Foundation has mastered the art of designing fashionable jeans for small statured adults with asymmetrical body types, there are numerous other niche’ markets to be filled.

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CLFF Exclusive Design – cuffed & scruffed jeans

 

ABL Denim is an innovative company that designs jeans for people with limited mobility and sensory integration disorders. Check out the videos below and see what their customers, who include Angela Rockwood, have to say about ABL Denim.

Keepin’ it classy,

Jane Hash, Co-Founding Director

Photo of Alicia McDonald

Intern inspires partnership between Texas Tech and Classy Little Fashions Foundation

In addition to The Fashion School at Kent State University and the College of the Ouachitas, Classy Little Fashions Foundation can now add the The Apparel Design and Manufacturing Program through the Department Of Design at Texas Tech University to their list of academic partnerships.

To gain experience before graduation, Apparel Design & Manufacturing students at Texas Tech are required to do an internship. When Alicia McDonald (a junior) learned of Classy Little Fashions Foundation, she immediately wanted to get involved and inquired about obtaining an internship with the nonprofit.

Co-Director of CLFF, Carol E. Briney, traveled from Canton, Ohio to Lubbock, Texas over the holidays and met with the Director of the ADM Program at Texas Tech, Dr. Robin Robinson. In hearing Briney’s presentation of Classy Little Fashions Foundation’s mission to fulfill fashion wishes for adults with non-standard body types due to physical disability, Dr. Robinson was eager to offer support and approved McDonald’s internship.

All parties involved are very excited about the learning, teaching, and fashion outcomes of this academic partnership! McDonald’s first goal of her internship is designing a bohemian inspired collection called “Freedom To Dream” that will be exclusive to CLFF. The collection will be unveiled this spring.

Below is a brief Q&A with Classy Little Fashions Foundation’s intern, Alicia McDonald.

CLFF: What inspired you to seek an Internship with Classy Little Fashions Foundation?

I am excited to be able to collaborate with my mother (Carol E. Briney). I think it is great to help the people around you to be successful, and for the opportunity to be able to build my new career as well as an organization that my mother has helped to launch, would be a great joy.

I am equally excited to go through the ropes, as an intern, of what it takes to create a collection, and to be a part of the research of creating a collection for a population that fashion has neglected.

CLFF: Tell us how you started designing clothing.

I started drafting my own patterns when I moved away from home at 22/23. My mom said I could take her beloved Bernina sewing machine with me if I promised to take classes. I promised but I decided to wing it. I’d draw pictures of what I wanted and then take my measurements and draft a pattern onto Newspapers I’d taped together. I got pretty good results, and as I’d learn more, I’d take previous projects apart and make the corrections… Eventually, on a trip home, my mom taught me how to use a commercial pattern. By using commercial patterns, I gained the knowledge of how certain garments might look as a flat pattern and it just rounded out my understanding. I’ve always been expressive through style. I believe that beauty, in all senses, evokes a positive response from the world around us. I love texture, kitschy patterns, colors of all shades and I love to toss it all together in an interesting and beautiful composition. It is important to me that everyone has that opportunity to be expressive and confident through fashion/style, and that is where my involvement with CLFF begins.

KSU video project

Disabled adults teach body positivity

Fashion diversity. Body positivity. Self-esteem. These are just a few topics discussed when Classy Little Fashions Foundation (CLFF) brings their education and outreach program to your class, group, or organization. Participants are encouraged to embrace diversity…the impact is proving to be everlasting!

Over the past couple of months, fashion students at Kent State University and a local chapter of the Girl Scouts of America have been benefiting from Classy Little Fashions Foundation‘s education and outreach program. The outpouring of gratitude and the projects that the students are undertaking as a direct result are inspiring. thank you gs

See for yourself!

Fashion students blog and make a video about their experiences with CLFF.

 

Tailored Technology (includes video

 

KSU video project

Contact Classy Little Fashion Foundation to inquire about their education and outreach program.

 

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Fashion needs of disabled adults inspires new partnership

cosmic outsideFulfilling fashion wishes for adults with asymmetrical, non-standard body types due to physical disabilities is the primary objective of the nonprofit organization, Classy Little Fashions Foundation (CLFF). Thanks to CLFF and its developing support system, this overlooked population of fashion consumers finally has a growing network of advocates and artists on their side, dedicated to meeting their fashion needs.

Most recently, Classy Little Fashions Foundation forged a partnership with Cosmic Bobbins. The proprietor, Sharie Renee, created Cosmic Bobbins to create jobs in underserved populations through arts-based entrepreneurship, sewing education and outreach. cosmic inside

The cosmically classy powers that be are rather tight-lipped regarding the full scope of what this partnership entails but they were willing to disclose the following exciting details.

  • Cosmic Bobbins will be a Classy Client fitting and clothing manufacturing location for Classy Clients in the Cleveland, Ohio area.
  • Cosmic Bobbins has also gifted a Classy Client with private sewing lessons to empower her with the knowledge to design and create her very own fashions.
  • Cosmic Bobbins and Classy Little Fashions Foundation will continue to inspire social good throughout their community.

Cosmic Jess

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Fashion Branding at KSU

kentSateLogoThe relationship Classy Little Fashions Foundation is building with The Fashion School at Kent State University is proving to be mutually educational and inspiring.

Dr. Gargi Bhaduri invited Jane Hash, Co-Director of CLFF, to speak to her Fashion Branding class last Friday. Catering to those with non-standard body types due to physical disability is indeed a unique ‘brand.’

J.R. Campbell, Professor and Director at Kent State University   20 Oct 2014

J.R. Campbell, Professor and Director at Kent State University
20 Oct 2014

The presentation began with a viewing of a Classy Little Fashions Foundation video, which gives a brief history of the organization and a glimpse of their fitting research. Then, Hash shared some highlights of her struggle to be fashionable prior to the creation of CLFF. This set the stage for students to ask questions, as well as share potentially helpful suggestions.

Some of the fashion students admitted that they had never considered the fashion needs of those with non-standard body types until Hash’s presentation. Yet, after class, other students approached her and expressed that they have loved ones with various disabilities who also have trouble finding fashionable clothing to fit their unique bodies.

Jane Hash, Co-Director of CLFF  wears an altered Charlotte Russe crop-top paired with custom made jeans, all courtesy of Classy Little Fashions Foundation photo by Alternative Noise Productions

Jane Hash, Co-Director of CLFF wears an altered Charlotte Russe crop-top paired with custom made jeans, all courtesy of
Classy Little Fashions Foundation
photo by Alternative Noise Productions

Hash said, “My favorite part of the experience in talking with the Fashion Branding class, is the way the students seemed to subconsciously and immediately welcome the new terminology I casually introduced to them.” She further explained, “One of Classy Little Fashions Foundation’s goals is to promote body positivity. Therefore, we do not use outdated, disrespectful, and unflattering terminology to describe our Classy Client’s non-standard physical forms.”

Next, Classy Little Fashions Foundation and The Fashion School at Kent State University will be embarking on an intriguing fashion research collaborative experiment, using state-of-the-art technology and involving a few new friends. Stay plugged in on social media for instant updates!