It seems like no time at all has passed since the February London Fashion Week show, and yet here we are a month on and so much is happening. Team Unhidden is slowly growing, exciting partnerships are in the works and announcements soon to be announced. I know, it’s all very ambiguous, but the nature of NDAs and not wanting to jinx anything means we’ve even started coming up with code names and phrases.
Our latest addition to the mix is ‘what would Piers think’, Piers being a random guy and definitely not the TV presenter… it feels like a good ethical benchmark as an organisation who is striving to build an inclusive, equitable culture in all aspects of the business from the start. (If he’d hate it, we’re on the right track!) We have a really exciting opportunity to show the world that not only can a disabled-led business succeed, but also one whose customers are disabled, whose team is disabled and who is actively writing a hiring plan for disabled and neurodiverse people - we are an incredibly talented community, and underrepresented in fashion.
If you’re new to the world of Unhidden, welcome! You’re joining us at an exciting moment in time. Our mission to create stylish, comfortable adaptive wear that 20% of the worlds population currently have limited access to, which 100% of the world can actually wear is our main mission. As with all things, designing for disabled people means you’re also designing for everyone else. Fashion should be inclusive, not exclusive- Everyone deserves to feel both comfortable and confident in the clothes we wear.
Looking out of the office window and onto a little park in the centre of London means we also get to watch the changing seasons. Currently the cherry blossom is beginning to peek through, the rest of the trees beginning to bud. It is a nice reminder that even through the cold, rainy days that drain energy there is movement, life, colour. It was exciting, debuting the next collection at our February show- the addition of new bright colours and styles is a milestone that feels amazing to have achieved, and will complement our original collection so well. If you missed the show being live streamed, you can watch it on the link here! (BSL Interpreted).
The dress three ways is a firm favourite of the entire Unhidden team. Made for ambulatory people, wheelchair users and little people. This is a brilliant visual representation of how adaptive design works, how it can be both stylish, comfortable and accessible- and that really, it’s not that difficult to do.
With the launch of this new editorial section of the blog, and some energy behind our newsletters, we’re looking forward to being able to share our styling tips, while also shouting out other small independent brands, and spotlighting positive stories coming out of the disabled and neurodiverse community. If you haven’t already signed up to our newsletter, I encourage you to do so!
We know we’re not going to change perspectives overnight, but we’re getting there slowly and surely. It’s hard as a brand whose mission coincides with a necessary change of perspective of wider society to balance actually running the business with the advocacy needed to make this shift. There is a pressure knowing that as a brand we stand for even more than just making nice clothes, but there is nothing we’d rather be doing!
We’re already looking forward to the day where we can dedicate even more time and resources to influencing policy, opening more doors into fashion as an industry for disabled and neurodiverse people, and bringing adaptive fashion into the mainstream. When we need a motivation boost, it’s a fun activity on the team chat to come up with ideas that we’d love to do. For now, we’re content knowing that actually building the business, taking adaptive fashion into the mainstream one day at a time, hiring a great team and showing the world what we’re capable is a pretty good place to start.
This month our new collection is being added to the website for pre-order, and more of our pieces will be added to Loanhood. We’re proud to be partnering with them, bringing our clothing to even more people at an affordable price-point while also supporting our sustainability goals. If you’re not sure if one of the pieces in our collections are for you, why don’t you rent it for a week first!
Some thoughts to leave you with… We’re looking forward to sharing more about the behind the scenes process, from how we make decisions about what adaptations should go on our collection, how we’re building an equitable business (What… like it’s hard?) to the roles of the founding team- the fashion industry isn’t just about designing clothes!
Sharing this is important for two reasons- we believe that transparency whenever we can will help demystify an often intimidating and difficult to access industry. We also want to showcase the brilliant talent we have joining our team, and how we all make it work with our various disabilities, chronic illnesses and neurodiversities.
P.S. We recommend watching our socials closely in the last week of this month…