Open Style Lab, a ten week MIT summer program, wants the fashion industry to think about more bodies, more ages, and more abilities.
Most people are painfully aware mainstream clothing does not always fit them the way they would like. Finding clothes that fit well for those with specific disabilities is even more difficult. Open Style Lab works to explore solutions to this issue by developing accessible clothing for individuals with disabilities whose needs are not being met by clothing found in popular stores. Currently in its third year, the lab is a program that lasts ten weeks and is aimed at students studying design, engineering, or occupational therapy. Each summer, students are paired with local clients who are looking for accessible clothing.
According to their website, Open Style Lab strives “to create a more beautiful and inclusive world” but also explores how their clothing might be adapted to the mass market. The goal is to create fashion with and for those with disabilities that will also appeal to those who do not.
Open Style Lab’s program teams designers, engineers, and occupational therapists to create functional yet stylish wearable solutions with and for people with disabilities.