- Sara Ehlers |
After Tommy Hilfiger just announced its launch in adaptive apparel, it seems that the new genre of clothing is making its mark. Whether or not this niche will continue to grow still remains to be seen, as the fashion industry has not had any prominent brands in the past. FashionUnited chatted with Shelly Fogel, EVP of LFAmerica's Men's, on how its clothing brand has emerged in fashion. As the target market for adaptive continues to grow, companies like LFAmericas are providing a solution in this industry.
Shelly, can you tell us what is LFAmericas' mission for fashion?
LFAmericas is the leading private label company driven by superior design and execution, anchored by exceptional talent. With over 60 years of experience in menswear, the LFAmericas team is one of the largest global producers of dress shirts and sportswear in the US market. The premier supplier to all distribution channels with the best talent designer expertise and market intel.
Why do you think adaptive clothing companies such as LFAmericas are so important in today's industry?
With the aging of the American population the Adaptive Market is growing exponentially. Other markets such as Kids is important because parents need simple and smart solutions to assist them with caring for a child who is differently abled. Plus Adaptive Clothing does not have to be pigeonholed into a category of elderly products, which it often has been in the past. There are world class athletes who have been in sporting accidents, average Joe and Jane business people injured in car crashes and wounded veterans who are young, vibrant and who want to be independent. Some of the solutions being developed also fall into the category of “Stress Free" dressing is for everyone.
In what ways can LFAmericas improve the fashion industry?
Having one of the best design teams in the industry coupled with Maura Horton’s Original Magnetic Shirt Company, MagnaReady, is a home run. We have the connections with key retailers, the design capabilities and the supply chain expertise to take Adaptive Clothing from a concept everyone is talking about and make it an in-store reality.
Do you think the category of adaptive fashion is being avoided in the fashion market?
I don’t think it’s being ignored at all. The discussion of the need for more mainstream Adaptive Clothing has been tremendous in the industry. However there has been a lack of action. MagnaReady has been the pioneer of adaptive technologies - creating this patented technology in 2013. LFAmericas is looking forward to expanding on the base MagnaReady has built to reach and fulfill the needs of even more people. This market will continue to not only grow substantially over the next few years but it will remain evergreen with people living longer fuller lives.
From a business perspective, in what ways can expanding this niche in the fashion industry help its economic climate?
One third of all Americans have some type of hardship or disability. Everyone has either a friend, family member or loved one that would benefit from this technology. Partnering with Maura Horton and her company MagnaReady will bring relief to millions of people that are struggling with daily activities.
LFAmericas, a division of Li and Fung, supplies major retail brands like Target, Walmart, Lands Ends, Dillards, Macy's, Men's Warehouse and more. Partnering with MagnaReady, the company plans to bring adaptive clothing mainstream. Their brand offers womenswear, menswear, and childrenswear. Their clothing now offers these solutions including a button-down shirt without buttons. The technology from MagnaReady is helping to make it easier for those with disabilities to get dressed. Now that this category is improving with bigger brands in the last year, it'll be interesting to how adaptive fashion grows in the future.