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Beauty innovators collaborate

Dear friends and supporters,

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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.

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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

Turning fashion challenges into fashion victories

Hi there, classy friends!

Back in December, we hosted a really fun Twitter Chat event. The topic of course was…FASHION! Participants were great about sharing their personal fashion victories as well as challenges.

Sometimes overcoming a fashion challenge for a person with a physical disability is very simple. It doesn’t always require reinventing the wheel.

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Model: Reveca Torres Photo by: Kiki Conant

One participant, Reveca Torres, raved how one clothing retailer turned her fashion challenge into a fashion victory by hemming her awesome new yoga pants for her – free of charge!

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Model: Reveca Torres Photo by: Kiki Conant

The praise-worthy retailer is, Athleta! They specialize in women’s active wear and offer a variety of body positive sizes that includes Plus, Petite, and Tall. Also, they will hem your pants if you need them to!

This week’s fashion accessibility shout out goes to, Athleta!

Keepin’ it classy,

Jane Hash, Co-Founding Director

p.s. What could your favorite clothing retailer do to help turn your fashion challenges into fashion victories?

How One Donor Doubled His Donation

Hi there, classy friends!

We received such a generous gift recently, that we are oozing with gratitude and can’t wait to tell you all about it!

One of our supporters, Alan Washington, is one of my dearest friends from college and now works for Citizens Bank. Before making his donation to Classy Little Fashions Foundation, he asked his employer if they have a Matching-Gifts program. To our good fortune, they do!

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Alan Washington – Facilitator at Citizens Bank

That means, Alan’s generous gift of $500 turned into $1,000! This money will be used to buy fabric and offset the cost of a much needed sewing machine repair.

Colorful fabrics on sale

Currently, our donations total $2,196. We are still a distance from meeting our ultimate goal of $12,000. With innovative supporters like you though, we will surely reach our goal!

Thank you Alan and Citizens Bank!

Keepin’ it classy,

Jane Hash, Co-Founding Director

p.s. Does your employer offer a Matching-Gifts program?

Fulfilling fashion wishes

Classy Client Mitchell loves his custom hoodie, designed by our intern from Texas Tech - Alicia McDonald.

Classy Client Mitchell loves his custom hoodie, designed by our intern from Texas Tech – Alicia McDonald.

Dear Friends,

You are all awesome! When we launched our new website a few months ago, several of you found the “Donate Now” tab at the top of the screen and made generous donations via PayPal.

Other supporters expressed that they wanted other giving options, instead of just PayPal. Great idea! More options! That great idea inspired us to start a CauseVox crowdfunding campaign! Thus far, $1,376 has been raised.

Our CauseVox crowdfunding campaign officially ended on September 29th. That didn’t sit well with our supporters who want the opportunity to give over the holiday season. Who are we to argue with amazing people who want to help us fulfill fashion wishes?

 

Therefore, Classy Little Fashions Foundation’s CauseVox campaign has been reignited and will remain a giving option, at least until after #GivingTuesday on December 1st.

Thank you for helping fulfill Mitchell's fashion wish! More fashions are coming his way soon!

Thank you for helping fulfill Mitchell’s fashion wish! More fashions are coming his way soon!

The words “thank you” seem too simple to fully express our gratitude. Your support and generosity are deeply appreciated.

Sincerely,

Jane Hash, Co-Founding Director

Classy Little Fashions Foundation

Real People – Classy Fashions

Our Classy Client fundraiser has generated some generous donations to put toward fulfilling fashion wishes. We are very grateful for the kind outpouring of support we have received.

Several potential contributors have expressed that they would feel more comfortable about making a donation if Classy Little Fashions Foundation used a crowdfunding platform to reach our $12,000 goal instead of just PayPal.

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Our Classy Clients and supporters are all very important to us. To better accommodate everyone, we are expanding our giving options!

In addition to accepting PayPal donations, we are re-launching our Classy Client fundraiser via CauseVox.com. The fundraiser will run from July 20th until September 20th.

This crowdfunding platform provides fun and interesting options for donors. You may choose to contribute to the overall fund that will be used to fulfill fashion wishes or you may support the Classy Client of your choice by clicking on his/her personal page. Please take the time to read each of their stories, get to know them, and watch for updates!

The giving options don’t stop there!

You may also select the “Create a Fundraising Page” on any of the above pages and raise money for your favorite Classy Client! CauseVox guides you through each easy step, one at a time. Our supporters will appreciate that CauseVox will not reroute you to another website when it’s time to give your credit card information!

Still not sold on the idea of doing online transactions but you want to support our amazing Classy Clients? Don’t feel left out. Checks and Money Orders are still in style and may be mailed to the address below!

Classy Little Fashions Foundation

1331 17th ST NW

Canton, Ohio 44703

 

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.

We are fashionistas on a mission!

Dear Supporters and Classy Clients,

Since the very inception of Classy Little Fashions Foundation we have been flooded with support in the form of monetary donations, gifts of fabric, flattering mentions on social media, and excellent publicity from our local media outlets.

Although our organization’s headquarters are based in Ohio, we are quickly forging partnerships across the country and abroad to facilitate the fulfillment of fashion wishes for Classy Clients everywhere.

Most recently, Classy Little Fashions Foundation has been successfully making connections in Lubbock, Texas. To publically share details of this exciting news, we reached out to a newspaper in Lubbock for support.

Sadly, Classy Little Fashions Foundation is now in a position where we feel the need to apologize to our clientele and the general community of people with disabilities because of the language and tone of the article that was written.

We did not suggest nor condone the use of the word “patients”. In this context, “patients” is used inappropriately. We are not doctors; therefore we do not see patients. We are fashionistas on a mission to fulfill fashion wishes for people with non-standard body types due to physical disability.

We understand that many mainstream news outlets are not accustomed to reporting on non-medical disability related issues. This is why Classy Little Fashions Foundation provides educational resources for the Reporters we choose to work with. It is very unfortunate that the Reporter from the Lubbock, Texas newspaper disregarded the resources we provided. She also disregarded most of the information about Classy Little Fashions Foundation and replaced it with a very clinical interview she did with a doctor.

In closing, Classy Little Fashions Foundation is sorry that the disrespectful article was published in print and online. Our efforts to have it removed from their website were futile. However, our exciting news will be announced next week!

 

Respectfully,

Jane Hash, Carol E. Briney & Jess Wallace

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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Give a gift that supports positive body image and self-esteem

On Tuesday, December 2nd, the world will celebrate #GivingTuesday. It is a global day of giving back to our community. Fortunately, with the advanced communication technology available today, our community no longer has physical boundaries. We have the ability to support projects and people dedicated to doing social good anywhere in the world.

While there are multiple deserving causes to choose from on #GivingTuesday, listed below are a few reasons to consider supporting Classy Little Fashions Foundation. 

The ability to express one’s true self through fashion increases self-esteem.

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Wearing stylish clothes that fit properly improves body image perceptions.

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Having appropriate fitting clothing for all seasons promotes good health, especially in cold weather climates.

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Everyone deserves the opportunity to feel good about the way he or she looks.

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Adults with non-standard body types due to physical disabilities are worthy of having their fashion needs met.