EMBRACING DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
Carol Taylor stands to embrace diversity and inclusion. Whilst I can’t be everything to everyone I know firsthand that people come in all shapes and sizes and with varying degrees of ability, and/or dexterity. I hope my designs will appeal to plus size lovers of fashion, seniors and others that might lack finger dexterity. But as a permanent wheelchair user I am most familiar with my own disability. People with disability have been left out of the fashion conversation and I want to change that. I am in the permanently seated position so many of my designs are loose fitting and A frame shaped. As my hands are paralysed I love to use magnetic buttons and even magnetic zips in my designs. I am the world’s first quadriplegic designer and a born problem solver, I like to rise to the challenge of thinking outside the box.
Functional & Fashionable.
I have always loved pretty things, there isn’t an ounce of tomboy in me. My injury didn’t change who I was, I still want to play “dress ups” but mainstream fashion doesn’t accommodate people like me so I started designing for myself. The concept of “adapted” clothing isn’t a new one, but my experience is that most of what’s on offer is “functional” at best and far from fashionable. In addition it’s usually been designed by an able-bodied designer that lacks “lived experience” of disability. This is my point of difference. I understand how body shape changes, how a seam or zip placed in the wrong position can cause life threatening pressure sores. There is much I don’t know but I am open to learning.
LOVE FOR COLOUR
Art as Therapy.
Art has played a vital role in my recovery and the brand is committed to supporting Australian artists with disability. Did you know that in Australia artists with disability earn only 40% of their able-bodied counterpart? Each of my designs features an authentic hand-painted art design by either myself or some other Australian with a disability. Each design has been ethically acquired and licensed with royalties from sales going directly to the artist assisting to provide a source of income in an already under-utilised sector of the Australian community.
I absolutely love colour! If you want to be outstanding then you first need to stand out! Many of my designs are a colour explosion. Clothing is more than just a necessity, it’s an expression of one’s identity. Bright colours make me feel happy and for someone with a disability that can often be the very first hurdle of the day. I like to think that “I might be on wheels but my fashion moves me forward”
Explore the Fashion Gallery.
Clothing That Makes Sence!
I am here to create inclusive clothing designs that appeal to persons with disability or dexterity issues, this doesn’t mean that my designs would exclude able-bodied. I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive. I want to design clothing that makes sense, for example, who came up with the idea of putting a zip in the least accessible part of a garment? As a start-up I don’t profess to design clothing to accommodate every single disability. The same garment may appeal to many and may include the plus size market. I don’t profess to pull a rabbit out of the hat and create a clothing design that will work for every possible shape size and disability. I will start with what I know best ie items that I love to wear and that are most flattering to a permanent wheelchair user with paralysed hands. I will start small and as I learn more about the complexities faced by others with disability I would hope to expand my designs as my knowledge expands.