Boston, MA. October 5th, 2021 —Though sneaker culture is often viewed as an exclusive club based on limited designs and availability, we’ve been working with various partners and organizations to make the culture more inclusive by gifting footwear to adaptive athletes and consumers.
In July of this year, we partnered with Nike to deliver pairs of Nike’s much touted Go FlyEase to students at the Lila G. Frederick School. Each student benefited from being given Nike’s latest technology to make it easier to put on, wear, and take off sneakers.
"In the coming seasons, the Concepts brand, retail and our community initiatives will focus on reversing our own and the industry’s exclusive culture. We are committed towards understanding and meeting the needs of our adaptive customer to ultimately create an inclusive experience for all,” says Tarek Hassan, founder of Concepts.
Continuing our commitment, in September we attended the Runway of Dreams with partner Zappos Adaptive during New York Fashion Week 2021.
Hosted at The Glasshouse, the evening included an adaptive runway show featuring 50+ models of varying disabilities, ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds showcasing mainstream adaptive fashions by Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive, Zappos Adaptive, Stride Rite, Target and others. As a partner with Zappos Adaptive, we were able to provide models with the Nike Glide FlyEase to wear on the catwalk.
Mindy Scheier, founder of the Runway of Dreams Foundation, has spent 20 years working in fashion on the design team for the INC collection and as a stylist for Saks Fifth Avenue. What inspired Mindy to start Runway of Dreams was her son Oliver, who has Muscular Dystrophy, and dreamed of wearing jeans like everyone else. Using her design skills she adapted a pair that met his needs and increased his confidence. Later she went on to conduct extensive research to develop modifications that would meet the needs of the largest minority in our world—people with disabilities.
The mission of Runway of Dreams is to lead a movement of inclusion in the fashion industry, provide adaptive clothing donations and wardrobe grants to those in need, award scholarships to the next generation of design innovators, and bring visibility to disability through adaptive fashion shows and college clubs.
You can watch the highlights from the Runway of Dreams here. Stay tuned for more initiatives we’ll be participating in to drive inclusion in the sneaker world.
Mainstream brands have been slow to embrace adaptive fashion, but Concepts is committed to fostering changes in the retail, fashion and sneaker industries to change the narrative and lead with inclusion. Additional retail and community focus from the Concepts brand will be coming soon.