A model walks the runway in an adaptive wedding dress.


Adaptive Fashions Take Center Stage

May 16, 2023

Pictured: A model walks the runway in an adaptive wedding dress.

On May 11, models strutted a runway at NYIT de Seversky Mansion, sporting fashions from small, independent businesses. But these were not ordinary models wearing typical clothing—they were individuals living with Parkinson’s disease wearing modified designs.

Adena Leder, D.O., director of New York Tech’s Parkinson’s program and associate professor at the College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM), proudly shared that the event was the first time the Adele Smithers Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Center hosted an adaptive fashion show, an inclusive event where models wear garments specifically designed for those with physical limitations.

Parkinson’s disease symptoms, including balance issues, tremors, and finger dexterity, can impact patients’ ability to dress themselves. For example, remaining steady while stepping into a pair of pants, fastening buttons, and tying shoelaces can present challenges.

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However, the fashions displayed at the May 11 show featured “easy-on, easy-off” clothing, shoes, and accessories designed to help patients maintain their independence. Designs included a glistening adaptive wedding dress, “button-down” tops with magnetic closures, and slip-on shoes without traditional lace-up designs, among other examples.  

Models included boxers from the Center’s Rock Steady Boxing classes, faculty from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and School of Health Professions, and Physical Therapy, D.P.T. students.