Dear Readers, this is another great opportunity I have, to share an interview that explains the grandiosity of our community. It just started a few months ago and I can say, was the origin of The Bigger Plans project, long before we could even imagine something like this was on our way.
If you’ve followed my instagram and my #ShopinYourWardrobe series during last Spring lockdown, you know that Nancy and I met online because we were addressing our own communities with the same message: stay at home, take care of yourself and always remember to wear what makes you happy and empowered.
Since then, Nancy and I kept in touch and she introduced me to some amazing people.
One of them was the great Lachi.
Please enjoy this double-interview with 2 of the ladies that contributed (and still are) to the development of my mission as a personal stylist for ALL.
NANCY, LACHI HOW DID YOU MEET EACH OTHER?
N: I met Lachi in March 2020 at a ReelAbilities event in NYC. It was a kickoff social to show clips of the then upcoming Reelabilities Film Festival, to have taken place in NYC. Yay, so happy that we met!!!
L: I bumped into Nancy at a Reelabilities screening at Loreen Arbus’s. Loreen is a well-known philanthropist in the disability community, so the room was full of Who’s Whos. I actually first met Rick of Positive Exposure at the screening as well. If my memory serves, I walked right up to Nancy and said, “Hi, I’m Lachi. What do you do?”
We exchanged info, and something about her brand and the adaptive clothing being “smart” stuck in my mind. She later invited me to a panel where she, Samanta Bullock and Angela Bianchi were speaking, and thus began this awesome foray of mine into fashion inclusion. Nancy probably didn’t know I literally have her to thank for that!
[WE ALL DO!]
YOU ARE BOTH VERY MUCH INVOLVED IN BUILDING CONNECTIONS, NOT ONLY AMONG PEOPLE FROM MINORITIES BUT AMONG EVERYONE AS PART OF A GLOBAL COMMUNITY. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE MOST EXCITING MOMENTS?
N: There are so many exciting moments of meeting, working, collaborating, and of course dressing people from around the globe. Take a minute and let that comment sink in. When you are passionate about a cause, such as adaptive clothing, and you are open to opportunities, that is when you make a difference.
Making dressing easier for individuals and caregivers that are both fashionable and functional.
Raising people up, improving lives together, giving a voice to others is what drives me.
Moments such as when one of our clients who lost his fine motor skills from Parkinson’s Disease and cannot manage to button his shirt. In the past, it would take him fifteen minutes per button with nine buttons on the shirt. Now, he can wear Smart Adaptive Clothing with our easy on and easy off shirts. We keep the buttons on the front closure (placket) and cuffs for a traditional appearance and strategically sew Velcro® brand fasteners behind each button, for easy on and off dressing.
Our blouses and shirts may help someone with a disability: whether permanent or temporary, arthritis, neuropathy, MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, post cancer treatment, spinal cord injury, paralysis and more. Caregiver’s dressing another person also benefit, as our quick dressing frees up time, energy and effort with our easy fasten, effortless style designs.
L: I particularly try to focus on building disability awareness to the more mainstream folk, with a soft spot for music and entertainment. It’s exciting the places this mission has taken me. I’ve been invited to speak on prestigious panels, bring ideas to Fortune-100 think tanks, and dine with decision makers on very powerful committees in music and public office.
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE GREATEST CHALLENGES FOR EACH ONE OF YOU?
N:The greatest challenge for Smart Adaptive Clothing is lack of awareness by the community we are trying to serve / dress. The need for adaptive clothing is not new, but the category is relatively new. How does someone purchase our clothing to help make their dressing easier if they do not know that we exist? Our goal is to be mainstream, available in any major retailers just like well established brands such as Ralph Lauren or Adidas.
L: Building a counter-culture awareness campaign and getting the average Joe excited, is always going to be a challenge. Today, there is a huge burst in diversity inclusion; however, a lot of these well intentioned movements do not include disability as a diversity. That’s a huge sticking point of mine, and I’m on a mission to change that paradigm.
NANCY YOU'VE ALREADY WORKED WITH LACHI AND YOUR BLOUSES ARE PART OF HER WARDROBE SINCE SOME TIME NOW. YOU ARE THE MAIN BRAND SPONSOR OF THE BIGGER PLANS PROJECT: WHAT DID YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT IT?
Yes, I am very fortunate to collaborate with Lachi on several projects, so working on the Bigger Plans video was an easy decision. Lachi’s energy is infectious, she is a talented singer / songwriter / performer / model and disability advocate so I knew this would be a success. We are like minded and that brings exponential positive results when collaborating. She can wear anything and make it look sexy, which is what Smart Adaptive Clothing is about. We help people build confidence, independence, save time while looking super stylish. As we say, “after all the sexiest thing you can wear is confidence” and Lachi has it!
LACHI, YOU'VE WORKED WITH NANCY AND WORE SMART ADAPTIVE CLOTHING IN CONCERTS AND SHOOTINGS ALREADY - WHAT IS IT, THAT YOU LIKE SO MUCH ABOUT WORKING WITH SMART ADAPTIVE?
Firstly, a woman running a brand called SMART was exactly what I needed in my life! Knowing Nancy’s story, the double-entendre of the term “smart” when it comes to looks (as in looking sharp) really resonated. Just because someone develops a condition that introduces difficulty to the way they dress, doesn’t mean they can’t continue to “look smart” and be fashion conscious. So I really fell in love with the boldness of the brand, and Nancy is definitely an A+ on her grind game, so I could instantly relate.
LADIES WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT BIGGER PLANS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
N: Our next bigger plans are to expand where our clients can find us, meaning additional ecommerce websites. The more people who know about Smart Adaptive Clothing, the better, as we want to make life easier through stylish easy on and easy off clothing. Stay tuned for more designs and who knows…the world is our oyster.
L: As always I’ll be releasing more music! I have some new tracks with a few of my favorite producers in the works, we will be doing more work with the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and hopefully, if Angela will have me 🙂 I’ll be working on some more diversity + fashion + confidence music visuals. Keep tabs on the cool collaborations and creations coming out of this space at lachimusic.com
[WELL! Of course I will have her! ]
I wish these ladies all the best from the bottom of my heart, and hope to be doing more of these great great great things together with them and other people and brand that share the same mission.
Remember to watch the video, comment and share over and over https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdmKjJD-Uvc
and keep on following Smart Adaptive Clothing and Lachi on their way to transform the creative industry!