Physical Disability and Fashion

The next group of people I want to look into are Disabled people and the fashion industry when I say, disabled people I am specifically looking into Physical disabilities such as loss of limbs, loss of sight and dwarfism etc. Having looked at Accessible fashion for the older generation I want to look to see if there is any accessible fashion for people with physical disabilities. By definition, a physical disability is a condition that permanently prevents normal body movement and or control. There are so many physical disabilities that affect people all in different ways, but the one thing they have in common is they all have to get dressed every day and having a physical disability changes how easy that is for them in terms of what clothing they can wear. I am going to look at what is available currently for people out there with physical disabilities and if there are any campaigns that have come out. I also want to see if similar to old people if there are any influencers out there that are talking about fashion and physical disability.

Adaptable Fashion

Now having looked into campaigns that have included or been aimed at the older generation and also looking at influencers who are over the age of 50, I have been interested at researching clothing for old people that can’t or struggle to wear clothing that is currently sold in shops at all. For the last three years, I have been one of the sole carers for my grandfather who is 86. He has a number of different problems one of which is water retention in his legs, this makes putting trousers on and taking them off incredibly difficult as he can’t really put them on himself and the trousers that fit his waist correctly won’t go over his legs, meaning he has to spend a lot of time in shorts which he hates and now that winter is approaching is going to be impossible. I was researching if any trousers exist that could help him and unfortunately they do not, this lead me to look into if there is any kind of adaptable clothing for older people out there. After some research, I found two companies that specialise in adaptable clothing for the elderly.

Buck and Buck

Buck and Buck is an American online retailer that has been around since 1978. They have a bright and easy to use website, they offer clothing for elderly people who maybe need a little help with dressing or need someone else to dress them completely. One of the things I liked the most about Buck and Buck is that they have a shop by need section which lists all the different conditions that could mean you would have trouble dressing. One of the items that I liked the most was the Velcro Trousers, they look like chinos but have velcro instead of where you would have a zipper and button this making it so much easier for the wearer to dress and undress unassisted, what also adds to the appeal of there trousers is that Buck and Buck will hem the trousers for you free of charge as well, which is perfect as most old people wouldn’t be able to maybe go out and get this done easily. I have attached screenshots and a video below that show these pants being demonstrated. Buck and Buck do have a good social media presence with regular uploaded videos on youtube which show how the products work, they also have a facebook page which in the modern world is essental for businesses to have.


The second brand I found was called Silvert’s, this was again an American Brand similar to Buck and Buck and it also sells very similar clothing. Silvert’s also has a shop by need section on its website and also uses the same techniques in there clothing to make them adaptable velcro, magnets and poppers. I don’t think the website is as nice as Buck and Buck and it is more difficult to use, also there illustrates are harder to understand as some of the products I don’t even understand how it been adapted as they just put dots on things. But I do think the idea is good and the clothing is probably good quality, it’s just the website looks unwelcoming and old fashioned. Silvert’s also had no social media presence at all that I think it could really do with to get into the twenty-first century I have put screenshots of the website below for you to see.

I really like the idea that Buck and Buck and Silvert’s have about adaptable clothing for the elderly, I just think they’re not marketed in the correct way. Adaptable clothing was really hard to find and I didn’t find one company in the UK that provides this kind of clothing which would mean you would have to ship them from America which would take ages and cost a fortune. These brands are very American and really target the American fashion as I don’t think a lot of this clothing in these styles would sell in the Uk. I believe that old people regardless of if they are unwell or not want to look nice just like young people do, and I see from my Grandad how distressed he gets when he feels he looks unsmart, I think this is a huge problem that should be addressed as just because you get older you shouldn’t be expected to lose your own sense of style and identity.

Older Generation Influencers

If I decide to use the older generation in my final major project then I wanted to know what influencers would be useful in order to help sell my idea and to reach the audience I am aiming for.  As influencers are incredibly useful not only to promote a campaign or product but also to help reach the audience I’m wanting to reach, I am also incredibly interested into if there are any social media influencers that are over the age of 50, as there are thousands of influencers who are between 15 and 30.

Sarah Jane Adams


The first influencer I found was Sarah Jane Adams a 63-year-old influencer from Australia. She has over 150,000 Instagram followers, she originally set up an Instagram account to help sell her jewellery but ended up getting followers due to her cool sense of style. She is famous for her hashtag #MyWinklesAreMyStripes which encapsulates Sarah’s whole style and vibe. I think Sarah Jane Adams is a huge inspiration and that her amount of followers say it all.

Lyn Slater (The Accidental Icon)


Lyn Slater is a 65-year-old woman from New York, she has 200,000 Instagram followers and a very popular blog. She says her blog articles are not about ‘Me saying companies need to start creating an over 50 sub-brand but rather think of me as a consumer.’ She has a wicked sense of style and has featured in magazines all over the world. She also says on her blog that ‘I’m not twenty and I don’t want to be twenty, but I am pretty cool and here I am.’ Lyn’s message is simple I’m over 50 and here so don’t ignore me. I love this and feel it is a feeling a lot of old people will agree with as the saying goes you’re only as old as you feel.

Grece Ghanem


Grece Ghanem is a 53-year-old personal trainer from Montreal. Ghanem has gained 48,000 Instagram followers because she is so feisty and fearless about putting herself and her style out there. She has collaborated with brands such as Sephora and Club Monco which have flocked to collaborate with her. The reason I love Grece Ghanem is that you see her wearing items in her Instagram posts more then once, nothing ever gets thrown away she still has clothing from the ’80s, which in a day and age where sustainability in fashion is a hot topic is a perfect message to be sending out.

Baddie Winkle


Baddie Winkle or Helen Ruth Ela Van Winkle which is also known is 90 years old and started her Instagram account at 85. She always says she was a Rebel when she was younger in terms of the way she dressed and liked to push the boundaries. She has 3.8 Millian Instagram followers and has appeared in various music videos and magazines and has been pictured with celebrities from all over the world. In 2016 she even launched her own clothing range with Missguided which was a huge success. I personally aren’t a huge fan of her style and I feel a lot of women over 50 would agree that they wouldn’t wear this kind of clothing, I can appreciate what she is doing and that not only is she happy she illustrates that just because your 90 doesn’t mean you can’t dress the way you want to dress even if other people don’t agree with what you choose to wear and that message I completly agree with.

I found it really enjoyable researching into different influencers over the age of 50 and some of them especially Grece Ghanem and Lynn Slater I have started following on Instagram myself as I loved there style and found them really refreshing to inspire too, not only my style now but how I could look and dress in the future. I think a lot of people see getting old as a bad thing and these women are definitely highlighting that getting older doesn’t mean you should stop living and that I find truly inspiring.

Leading Ladies

In August 2013 M&S launched the leading ladies campaign to launch the autumn-winter collection. The celebrities they chose to you were olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams, Nurse of the year Helen Allen, Tracy Emin, Helen Mirren, Katie Piper, Monica Ali, Grace Coddington, Karen Elson, Jasmine Whitbread and Ellie Golding. They were chosen for their ‘strong sense of personal style’ and inspirational achievements. The adverts feature a combination of the women in quintessentially British locations such as the London’s Tower Bridge and the British countryside wearing clothing from the range. For the last few years, M&S sales have been falling dramatically and they wanted this campaign to signal a new era for M&S. The campaign was launched online, print and on the TV, the campaign used women of all different ages and sizes as it wanted people to focus more on the women’s achievements rather than their looks. A few of the campaign images are shown below.


M&S also carried on with this campaign in 2014, when they launched the campaign again this time with different faces. The new faces were Lulu Kennedy MBE, Rachel Khoo, Alek Werk, Rita Ora, Emma Thompson, Doreen Laurance and Annie Lennox. The shoots were again in typically British settings and had the same message to celebrate women from diverse backgrounds and professions all united by their personal style and inspirational achievements. Patrick Bousquet Chavanne M&S’s executive directors commented in the companies press release:

‘These dynamic leading ladies represent the unique and diverse women of a modern Britan. They are united in their extraordinary achievements but confident in their differences. Marks and Spencers is a democratic brand which is relevant to women of all ages and strands of life, it is, therefore, natural for M&S to celebrate women in this way.’   


I like the concept of this campaign but I’m not a fan of its execution. I think the idea of having women with achievements and women that people recognise and look up to is a really good idea, however, I don’t like that they used the same shoot idea the ‘Britishness’ element twice for both years. The second launch in 2014 did significantly worse than the 2013 campaign, and I believe this is because it was too similar and not new, people had already seen it, so it didn’t have the same impact. Which as a result they didn’t continue with it after 2014, which I think is sad as the idea itself was really good just the end product in the fact they didn’t utilise all the marketing mix and the clothing itself let the campaign down. This campaign is a perfect example of how if you don’t use the 360-degree marketing strategy campaigns can go wrong.

Dolce and Gabbana

In 2015 Dolce and Gabbana released its spring campaign, which featured unknown elderly women. The Italian designers wanted to stay true to their roots and show their vision of a family orientated lifestyle. It is still unknown as to who these women are, but they bring a sense of authenticity to the campaign. They are shown advertising Dolce and Gabbana’s handbags and accessories either with each other or with the family.


This advert got a lot of attention from the public, it was the first designer brand to use older women in their advertising. Even though I’m not a huge fan of this campaign, I think it looks boring and they don’t really use the older women in an original way they just stand or sit there, I do think this was a breakthrough in term of including older women in fashion advertising.

The Older Generation

We live in an ageing population, so why does the fashion industry refuse to cater to old people? The Fashion industry has an obsession with youth, which is strange if you think that not only is there more old people in the world then young but the older generation are the people with money that are likely to spend it on clothing, as younger people don’t have as many expendable incomes. I think the fashion industry is completely ignoring this huge proportion of people and mainly catering to younger audiences.  I recently watched a film called ‘Iris’ about Iris Apfel a 93-year-old fashion icon and designer. She talks in the film about how clothing looks better on older people and how older people know their bodies so well that they know what works for them and doesn’t. She also talks about how older people feel patronized and get treated and spoken to like children.

I think the older generation would be a really good group of people to look into for creating a campaign around. I don’t really feel like they have been looked into as much as Plus size and also there is so much you could do with it and to make a difference to peoples lives. I think the fashion industry really does have to start catering for everybody even if they are over 60 years old!


In 2017 the very popular online retailer Missguided launched it’s ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign. The campaign includes eight models and positive body activists, chosen to represent the campaign. The full cast consisted; Felicity Haywood, Emily Bador, Netsai Tinar Resse Dandajena, Jade Laurice, Nylo, Sam Roswell, Ally and Nelly London. The aim of the campaign is to empower women and champion unairbrushed models with imperfections. The campaign is an online one starting from their own website and blog, they encourage people to use the hashtag #Makeyourmark, on all their social media platforms, they even offer prizes for people who use their hashtags. I love the imagery for this campaign compared to the other campaigns I’ve seen on body confidence like Dove and Lane Bryant the imagery of this campaign is bright and fun not black and white or suttle. The models are clearly having fun dancing around, and the clothing is mostly underwear so you can really see the models bodies.


As well as strong imagery they also the models themself’s in their advertising, on the website you can ‘Meet the models’ and get links to all their social media accounts as well as a link to a Youtube video where you can see the models talking about themselves and why they are getting involved with the campaign. I really like this idea as people can then form connections with the people who are wearing the clothing rather than not know anything about them.


I really like this campaign, it’s fun and bright and modern, they haven’t used soft lighting or shot in black and white which is known to be the most flattering way to be shot, it’s got harsh lighting that frankly not even a supermodel would look good under. This is a really modern way of shooting and campaigning for acceptance in the fashion industry by being loud and proud of your bodies and showing that your happy the way you are!

Real Beauty Campaign

Lane Bryant wasn’t the only company that was outraged with Victoria Secrets campaign, Dove was as well. In 2006 Dove’s advert ‘Evolution’ went viral before viral was even a thing! The advert showed a woman having her picture taken and then how easy it is for her to look completely different after she had been photoshopped this was completely unheard of in 2006 for a brand to show this kind of advert, it was the launch of Dove’s Real Beauty campaign and it’s still going even today and has even been voted the most successful beauty campaign of all time. The advert is shown below.

In 2013 Dove released ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ an advert where they got women to describe what they looked like to an artist, they then drew what the person had described as themselves and then the artist drew what they saw when they looked at the person. This resulted in a completely different image than the ones that the women had described. This advert has become the most watched advert of all time. (The advert is shown below)

When the company first started the first campaign imagery they ever did was the blue tick billboards. The billboards featured women with two tick boxes options next to them such as ‘Fat?’ or ‘Fit” and ‘Flawed? or Flawless?’ passersby could text their answers and the percentage was shown next to the image on the billboard. 1.5 million people responded to the billboards.

The real beauty campaign responded to the Victoria Secret campaign by shooting women in the exact same way that the victoria secret one was shot, the only difference being that the women Dove used were all different sizes and ethnicities.

I love this campaign I think it is fun and also really important. Dove is one of the only brands in the beauty sector that show real women and have done so since they started. With the Real Beauty campaign being the most successful campaign ever, it was important for me to look into it. I think the billboard idea with the interaction of day to day people is really clever especially that the number was shown on the billboards, that is something that will inspire me in my own campaign, that it’s important that the consumers feel involved and can see themselves making a difference.


In 2015 the underwear designer Lane Bryant launched the #ImnoAngel campaign, this was a direct hit back at the most popular underwear brand Victoria Secret’s ‘The Perfect Body’ campaign that featured supermodels all of which looked identical, with the same body types this campaign got a huge amount of backlash as it not only showed no diversity in race but all the women’s bodies looked the same tall and skinny and with their strapline being ‘The perfect Body’ it gave the message that that is the perfect body that women should be aspiring to.

Lane Bryant like many people were outraged by this campaign so created her own in response, #ImNoAngel as the Victoria Secret models are known as Angels this was clearly a response to them. Lane Bryant’s campaign features a load of beautiful models. The campaign’s aim is to redefine our standards of sexy and beautiful. The campaign was run online mostly through the Lane Bryant website, it also had very strong imagery that was shown not only online but in print on billboards and magazines. Some of the posters and website are shown below.


After six months the Victoria Secret campaign had to change its name to ‘A body for everybody’ due to a petition that went around that was signed by over 30,000 people. The hashtag I’m no angel was mentioned 24,219 times since the launch on social media. As well as the positive message the campaign sends they also encouraged people to donate to a charity called ‘I am B.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l’ that dedicates it’s self to building self-esteem and leadership skills in young girls and women. The campaign also gives you the chance to get to know the models on the website where you can read about them and how they have overcome their body issues. The campaign was so successful they have launched another one this year called #PlusIsEqual which is also providing very successful and some images from that campaign are shown below.

I really like this campaign I think it is shot beautifully and the women are stunning. I also think the message they are sending is really positive I want my campaign to evoke the same kind of feelings as this one is doing. This is a really successful online campaign and the fact they have brought it back with a new hashtag shows how well it is doing really.

F* This Campaign

In 2016 the plus size Canadian brand Addition Elle launched a bold new campaign called F* This during New York fashion week. It was mainly a social media campaign and used seven models, three of which are very well known Ashley Graham, Jordyn Woods and Nadia Aboulhosh. The campaign’s message is about body empowerment, body positivity and fashion democracy. This campaign was launched during New York fashion week, it was showcased on the runway and was also live streamed across there social media platforms. They also released a series of videos to go with the campaign which they put on their website and in America and Canada’s TV adverts. Also as well as being a campaign fronted by famous models the campaign also went along with a collection which was designed by Canadian Social media star Nadia Aboulhosh. I have attached some images from the campaign below as well as one of the TV adverts that went out.


I really like this campaign, its fun edgy and current, I also think they use the elements of the marketing mix well, they have a print element in terms of strong campaign imagery, they TV by having an advert, they also picked a good event to show their campaign so that it got the maximum attention, New York, fashion week! They also lived streamed the show on all their social media platforms gaining a huge amount of coverage. I think this is a campaign that I can definitely take inspiration from as it has everything and everything is executed well.