Pinch-us moment: Magnetic Me recently made its New York Fashion Week debut and had the honor of participating in the "Fashion Revolution" runway show. Put on by The Runway of Dreams™ Foundation, the organization works to foster inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities.
Why were we involved? The magnets in our clothes give people with disabilities ease and independence when getting dressed—without having to deal with the difficulty that comes with buttons, snaps or zippers.
The runway show featured more than 60 looks worn by models with disabilities who showcased innovative adaptive clothing and footwear for children and adults. Let us note, this wasn't your typical (snooty) runway show. There wasn't a quiet person in the house. Constant cheers filled the room as the models confidently took to the runway, feeding off of all of the positive energy around them.
Who was wearing Magnetic Me? None other than our friend Amanda Clark.
At birth, Amanda was diagnosed with Holt-Oram Syndrome. It wasn't until she had her third child at age 27 that she found out she had, in fact, been misdiagnosed for her entire life. It turns out Amanda had Tar Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that is characterized by the absence of the radius bone in the forearm and a dramatically reduced platelet count.
The news of her new diagnosis was a big adjustment and emotionally challenging for a long time. But after a while, she started to regain her confidence and decided to pursue her dream of modeling.
We sat down with Amanda to learn about her experience strutting her stuff down the catwalk and the importance of adaptive clothing.
Amanda, tell us a little more about yourself.
A lot of people assume I am in my early 20s. I'm actually 34 years old, which is a blessing in disguise because I was told I wouldn’t live past 12 years old.
I am happily married and have three beautiful children—a 14-year-old daughter and two sons who are five and six. I enjoy making people laugh and smile, and I'm adventurous, always exploring and trying new things.
I am a stay-at-home mom and the Founder of a non-profit called Beautymark Community, an organization that brings disability awareness to students in public education.
What did it mean to you to model in the Runway of Dreams fashion show during NYFW? How did it feel to be on the runway?
When my daughter glanced around the room, she said, "Mommy, look you’re still the only one here with your Beautymark." There were so many beautiful people there that had their own story, their own Beautymark—each representing the disability community in such a positive light.
Representation matters so much more than others think. I have never seen anyone with my type of Beautymark in magazines or on TV, and I am hoping to be the first to change that. It is my hope that people are able to relate to those they saw on the runway that night. Even if it's one person, I'd be happy.
What are the struggles you face when shopping for clothing?
I struggle with finding accessible clothing in stores near me and adaptive clothing tends to be more expensive. Small buttons on shirts are the devil and buttoning my pants is complicated, as well. Finding accessible clothing that fits my style preferences is almost impossible. The same goes for sneakers and shoes.
What do you love most about the Magnetic Me adult pajamas? How do they help you?
When I first put on the magnetic me pajamas, I wanted to cry! They are comfortable, soft and easy, and I could get dressed with ease. I also think they're straight up sexy. The little things mean the most to me and adding magnetic closures to my shirts is a game changer. And, my husband liked it too, lol.
With all seriousness, magnets can help benefit my son as well. He was born without thumbs, and found it very exciting to be able to open and close a shirt by himself!
Magnetic Me gives confidence and independence through their clothing brand and I was so proud to represent them.