MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A former fashion designer and the mother of a child with muscular dystrophy founded "Runway of Dreams" to help people with disabilities feel more confident about themselves through fashion.
On Tuesday night, the foundation held an adaptive clothing fashion show at Carpool Cinemas in Wynwood.
Founder Mindy Scheier said it's all about inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities. The organization wants to broaden the reach of adaptive clothing to promote people with disabilities in fashion.
"Mainstream adaptive clothing is important and understanding that people come in all different shapes sizes and abilities," said Scheier, " And adjustments can be made to clothing to make it easier to be dressed so that everyone has a choice and can show up to the world and exactly the way that they want."
Runway of Dreams first partnered with designer Tommy Hilfiger in 2016, making history by creating the first-ever adaptive clothing line for kids called Tommy Adaptive. Now Zappos Adaptive, Stride Rite, and Kohls are also on board.
During Tuesday's show, models from around South Florida with all different types of disabilities, ethnicities, and ages strutted up and down the runway.
Athlete and author Chris Ruden was born with limb issues and diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 19.
"My biggest desire from a show like this is to have that kid or that adult who never felt confident, never felt the potential that they truly have, to see me or see one of the other people walking and know that it's possible, that it's probable and that they can create a life quality of life regardless of their circumstances," Ruden said.
NSYNC's Joey Fatone hosted the show his daughter Kloey, whose on the autism spectrum and walked the runway for the first time,
"This is the first time she's ever doing a runway. Are you nervous?", Fatone asked Kloey.
"A little bit," Kloey said. "I do not want to trip and fall and embarrass myself."
"You won't. You'll never embarrass yourself," her father replied.
Paula Carozzo was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of five. Regular shoes didn't work for her. She said Runway of Dreams brings people like her to center stage in more ways than one.
"My life has had many challenges, but one of the challenges I saw the most was not being represented enough in the media, in fashion, and in the entertainment industry and that's what I'm here to do today," Carozzo said.
What a wonderful foundation making everyone feel as confident as they deserve.
The show will premiere globally on March 11 on Runway of Dreams' YouTube channel starting at 8 p.m.
For more information on the foundation, go to runwayofdreams.org.
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