"BLIND FASHION DESIGNER" - CELEBRITY/ FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER: RON MORALES "ABILITY TO SEE WHAT THEY WEAR" CREATIVE COVERAGE: MARIA SOL UNGAR: BLIND DESIGNERS
People with limited sight can now feel beautiful and trendy courtesy of this new fashion trend that incorporates Braille into clothing. This trend is taking the world by storm for all the right reasons.
Even women with healthy eyes find it difficult to pick out clothes to wear let alone those who can’t see. It is impossible for people with limited or no sight to choose color combinations or pick out an accessory to match their outfit. However, various fashion designers across the globe have come up with a solution to take them out of this misery.
Designers have started incorporating Braille – the traditional system of writing and reading used by blind people – into their clothing ideas that will give major autonomy to sightless people when choosing clothes for themselves.
An Argentinian designer Maria Sol Ungar started designing clothing for people with poor vision for her college’s thesis project that required her to solve a clothing-related problem.
Her brand Sonar, named after the sound-based method used by bats to fly and find food in the dark, offers clothes with appealing designs. Sonar offers urban clothing with attractive designs with complete information for non-sighted people to see before they buy in stores.
Another name that is creating a revolution in clothing industry is Rugilė Gumuliauskaitė – a Lithuanian designer who creates collection books and designs in relief. It is a method that allows the clients to get an idea of how the dress looks like even before trying it on.
Her forte is using combinations of basic colors that not only look great but bring out the best in the personality of those wearing the dresses. She has also learned to explain the designs and colors using emotions and other senses. For example, red is the color of festivity – all of it provides a pleasant experience to the blind clients visiting her on her boutique.
Two Blind Brothers brand, spearheaded by two American brothers Bradford and Bryan Manning is also following this same trend. These two brothers were diagnosed with Stargardt disease – an illness that causes people to lose their sight progressively - in their early childhood and they decided to become fashion designers to create casual shirts for both men and women.
Their ultimate goal was to introduce clothing that was solely for people with vision impairment. What makes their clothing stand out is the high-end materials that they use. An interesting fact about this brand, in particular, is that 70 percent of the workforce working in it is also blind and whatever they earn is used to finance medical research aimed at curing blindness.
These three brands are examples for us to reflect how we, with all our five senses intact, perceive fashion. Clothes can say a thousand words and show a completely different picture than the reality. We only need to have those eyes that can see beyond the powers of vision and our clothes indeed can transmit those emotions.