Fashion Designer for Wheelchair Users
For Izzy Camilleri, the journey to becoming a top fashion designer for people with disabilities began after befriending Barbara Turnbull, also of Toronto, Canada, who was a wheelchair-using quadriplegic.
"When I met Barb ten years ago, she had been injured twenty years," said 49-year-old Camilleri in a telephone interview. "By then, I had made a strong name for myself in the Canadian fashion industry. Barb asked the fashion editor of a newspaper who the editor would recommend to make a cape for her. Today, Barb is a reporter with the Toronto Star. "
Camilleri had never designed clothing for a wheelchair user or quadriplegic, and did not realize their clothing needed special alterations and features.
She said, "(Meeting Barb) was an eye-opening experience that went beyond clothing. When we met, I noticed she was static in her chair and could only move her neck and head. After our meeting, I had all these questions in my head. How did she shower? How did she put food in her mouth? How did she use the bathroom? The more I thought about her experience, the more humbling it was for me."
Camilleri went on to design and make more clothing for Turnbull before beginning to realize a "big void" existed in the marketplace for fashionable and comfortable clothing for wheelchair-using professionals and younger people. She researched what was available and learned nearly all clothing made for people with disabilities was for elderly people. She also learned 84 percent of Canadians with spinal cord injury were between ages 18 and 34.
She began IZ Adaptive in 2009, and today through an online store has male and female clients in Australia, the UK, and Europe, besides North America. The company has a nearly 100-item custom product line, including pants, shirts, jackets, coats, skirts, sweaters, and dresses.
She said, "Normally, people in a wheelchair have a hard time wearing a coat or anything below the waist. For instance, when you sit in a chair, a zipper jacket will buckle and get shorter. And with a coat, if you can't stand up to put it on, you will get this big puddle of fabric around your waist. With our coats and pants, we accommodate a seated frame. You can put them on while sitting and still have the length, but there is no bulk."
Currently, the Royal Ontario Museum has an IZ Adaptive clothing exhibit.
LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesRoseville Police Join Search to Capture Suspect Following CrashRoseville, CA- After an extensive search involving officers from the Roseville Police Department, Placer County Sheriff's Office, and the California Highway Patrol, Caleb Bodine, 23, from Sacramento was arrested.
Honda Accord: Benchmark for family sedansRoseville, CA- For overall value, nothing has essentially changed with the 2016 Honda Accord. It still delivers reliability, performance, comfort
Deadliest Catch Producer in Auburn December 11thAuburn, CA- The Rooster Tails Fishing Club is kicking-off the forthcoming holiday season with a special Sunday-style Brunch & Awards Breakfast at the Auburn Elks Lodge on December 11.
Roseville Public Libraries to Benefit from Book SaleRoseville, CA- The Friends of the Roseville Public Library will host its final secondhand book sale of 2015 on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
NY Reader Has Life Beyond MS A column I wrote weeks ago about the Service Dog Project (and its Great Danes) prompted responses from two Niagara-Wheatfield (NY) Tribune readers
Roseville Flash Crime Report (11.25.15)Roseville, CA- Crime flash report for Roseville, November 25, 2015.
Water Savings Fall Short AgainRoseville, CA. - Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their October water use by 26 percent, which is 10 percent less
Chapa-De Indian Health Website for PatientsAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce the launch of its newly updated website will also allow patients to learn about the comprehensive healthcare services
Blindness EtiquetteRoseville, CA - If you are meeting a person who is blind or visually impaired for the first time, do you offer your hand for him to shake?
Toyota RAV4 remains reliable compact SUVRoseville, CA- There is obviously a lot to like regarding the RAV4, starting with a sticker price that ranges from $23,680 to $29,850.
Roseville, Rocklin May Get Jobs Boost from Sunset Area PlanRoseville, CA - Currently known as the Sunset Industrial area west of Highway 65 and surrounded by the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.
Loretta Claiborne: RevisitedRoseville, CA - Last week, I began telling you about Loretta Claiborne, an African American who was born poor, partially blind, and with an intellectual disability.