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Alex Smyth previews his interview with Izzy Camilleri

Izzy Camilleri

By Alex Smyth

When it comes to the world of fashion, there is typically something out there for everyone. From high fashion and statement pieces to low-key but well-made clothes, each style, cut and look is represented. But what about adaptive clothing? Is there representation in the fashion industry for the disability community? For a long time, the answer was no. Thankfully, that has now changed.

One designer who made her name designing and dressing the stars has taken on the challenge of designing accessible clothing that look good too. Izzy Camilleri designed pieces for David Bowie, Gord Downie, Meryl Streep, and many more, but it was when she started designing clothes for Barbara Turnbull, who is a wheelchair user, that things changed. Realizing the complex relationship people with disabilities have with clothing, she started her IZ Collection to change the narrative that clothes can be function and look good at the same time.

Having learned about her journey and the decision to shift her focus to helping the disability community, I was excited to help share her story with more people. We often hear about the transgressions against or exclusion of people with disabilities by others, but when someone who is having great success in their field learns about the issues facing people with disabilities and decides to take action to change that, it should be celebrated. 

Ironically, when Izzy first started creating her adaptive line, she was questioned and even shunned by her counterparts in the fashion industry. They just didn’t understand why she would go from working with the stars to making adaptive clothing. But now, after years working on her lines, the fashion world is starting to follow Izzy’s lead. Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, and other huge clothing brands have started making adaptive clothes. While this change is welcomed, there is still hesitancy to outright promote these clothes at the same level of their flagship lines. 

In the world of fashion, it’s all about standing out and making a statement with your clothes. In Izzy’s case, her clothes are standing out above the rest and saying loud and clear, that everyone deserves clothes that are functional, well-fitted, and look good. 

Watch the segment with Izzy on AMI This Week next Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv. Want to read more from Alex? Search his name!