Runway of Dreams fashion show uses adaptive clothing for people with disabilities

Avery Savage, TV2 Reporter


Luke Trupo

Five of the nine models strut and show off their styled outfits at the Runway of Dreams fashion show April 5 in the KIVA. All of the models in the show are people with disabilities, who are wearing adaptive clothing.

Sage Mason, Luke Trupo, Reporters

A standing ovation roared as the nine models stood on stage for their final look at the second annual Kent State Runway of Dreams Fashion Show. Runway of Dreams is a national organization that promotes inclusivity in fashion through adaptive clothing for people with disabilities. 

The show works to make fashion more inclusive for people with disabilities who traditionally have not been included in the fashion industry. 

Bri Cummings, founder and current president of Kent’s chapter of Runway for Dreams, brought the chapter to life in the spring of 2021 and has been able to grow the organization significantly in just two years. 

“It is incredible to see how far we’ve come,” Cummings said. “We’ve been able to advocate for the design of adaptive clothing and design inclusion here at Kent State on behalf of Runway for Dreams.” 

The show consisted of nine models, all of which have disabilities, as well as three Paws for a Cause service dogs in training. As each model took the stage, Runway of Dreams executive board members introduced them and described how the models’ clothes were inclusive and adaptive. 

From shirts with snap buttons down the seams to easy-closure wrap skirts and slip-on shoes, the models were dressed head to toe in high-fashion outfits that were not only stylish but also accessible. 

Senior anthropology major Kelsea Terry said she decided to participate as a model to step out of her comfort zone.

“It’s always been in the back of my mind to do some kind of modeling so you know what, why not go for this,” Terry said. 

Cummings said she also has a personal connection to Runway of Dreams.

“I’m disabled,” Cummings said. “When I came to Kent, I felt this conflict between wanting to be an advocate for people with disabilities and wanting to design. When I learned about Runway of Dreams and what they’re doing for adaptive fashion, it was exactly what I wanted to do.”

The show kicked off with the Flashes Elite Dance Team, who got the crowd going with an energizing performance

The Flashes Elite Dance Team kicked off the Runway of Dreams fashion show April 5 in the KIVA. They danced to “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce.

to Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love.” The models, dressed by Zappos Adaptive, as well as the service dogs, strutted their adaptive outfits on the runway. 

23-year-old Ryley Fritz, a signed model with Gamut Management, was one of the models on the runway. 

“I was so excited,” Fritz said. “This area really needs inclusion and adaptive fashion, so I thought it would be cool to be a part of.” 

Audience member Samantha Nousak has multiple disabilities herself and decided to attend the show to show her support and see new adaptable clothing.

“I think that a lot of people would be surprised that adaptive fashion would benefit them even if they don’t have a disability,” Nousak said. “Because [of] comfort, flexible options for getting dressed and different ways to do it, it benefits people with disabilities the most but is good for everyone.”

To get more involved with Runway of Dreams at Kent State or to see more from the fashion show visit its Instagram here

Sage Mason and Luke Trupo are reporters. Contact them at [email protected] and [email protected].