Faduma Farah Wants to Bring Adaptive Fashion Into the Mainstream

Farah was spurred to action last year, inspired by an important piece of advice that

Farah was spurred to action last year, inspired by an important piece of advice that had been passed on by her late mother. “I remember speaking to my mother and saying, ‘Why can’t somebody make something for us? Why can’t somebody make a change?’ And she said, ‘Listen, my darling daughter, if you want change, it has to start with you. So what are you waiting for?’” she says.“ So I finally sat down and decided to put it out into the community, into the nation, and just see who will apply.” After meeting with Oxford Fashion Studio in November of last year, an independent company offering support for emerging brands staging runway shows, the project received over 20 applications, which a panel of experts whittled down to a final six, from which Eccleston was the unanimous winner. “Harriet nailed every point that I was looking for,” says Farah. “I thought, now we get to grow into this thing together and learn from each other, all the way up to the runway.”

Eccleston, who previously worked as a pattern cutter before launching her own brand in 2019, wanted to apply to learn more about this overlooked demographic. “To be honest, at first I didn’t think I could apply for it, as I didn’t have a background in adaptive clothing,” says Eccelston. “Having next to no knowledge about it is pretty shocking when I’ve been through school, college, university. I’ve worked for some big British brands and never have I been in a lecture or a design meeting or a fitting where one person in the room stopped to go, hang on, there’s 20{df277fece0e332513078d4db57f50d7f29a9f255adc120b3235ad73f23ad2e97} of the U.K. population that potentially can’t wear this garment. When I stopped to think about it, I was shocked it hadn’t occurred to me before either.”

To prepare her application, Eccleston reconnected with two college classmates from her time at Northumbria University, twins Rebecca and Melissa Everett, who had undertaken a major research project for their degree in partnership with the Stroke Association that revolved around innovating new garment fabrications for wheelchair users. They had been approached by a mother who was struggling to adapt high street clothes for her teenage son who had suffered a spinal cord stroke. “I was able to build on that research, which was amazing,” Eccleston explains. “My background is very technical. I’m a trained pattern cutter, so I was also lucky in that respect, as I was able to sort of mentally solve these problems before implementing the designs around them.”

https://www.vogue.com/article/fadumas-fellowship-adaptivewear-interview