Sycamore graduate rocks an inclusive runway


Ms. Narayan

ROCKING THE RUNWAY. Vineet Narayan, a 2018 SHS graduate, walks down the runway at the Runway of Dreams Foundation (RODF) fashion show on March 27. RODF works to create mainstream adaptive clothing for people with disabilities. Narayan wore clothes made by Zappos Adaptive that had modifications that help people with disabilities dress themselves.

Think about your typical fashion show. Unfortunately, the runway you are picturing probably does not include models with disabilities. However, the Runway of Dreams Foundation (RODF) is working to change that.

Vineet Narayan is 2018 Sycamore High School graduate. Narayan, who has Down Syndrome, had the opportunity to be a model in an inclusive fashion show put on by RODF and Zappos Adaptive, a company that creates adaptive clothing for people with disabilities.

  The Runway of Dreams Foundation is a nonprofit organization that, according to their website, “works toward a future of inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities.

RODF was founded in 2014 by Mindy Scheier, a fashion designer. Scheier’s son has muscular dystrophy, and she was inspired to start the foundation after he wanted to wear jeans to school like his friends but was not able to without challenges.

Scheier wanted to create a world where fashionable, adaptive clothing for people with disabilities is mainstream. The foundation works with clothing brands to help add modifications to their clothing.

Narayan sent in his picture to RODF and was selected to be a model in their fashion show. He traveled to Las Vegas for the Runway of Dreams show, which was on March 27.

A stylist did his hair and makeup, he got dressed in clothes designed by Zappos Adaptive, and then hit the runway, along with about 30 other models with disabilities. Narayan’s jeans and shirt had adaptive buttons. These modifications make it easier for those with disabilities to dress themselves.

“The whole concept was fashion evolution, to bring awareness to designers of adaptive fashion lines and to include people with disabilities,” said Vineet’s mom.

Narayan said he had fun modeling for Runway of Dreams and Zappos Adaptive and wants to do it again. He made a lot of new friends at the fashion show.

“[My favorite part of modeling was that] everyone could see me on the runway,” Narayan said.

Narayan said “[he] felt proud” to model on a runway that promotes inclusivity of people with disabilities.

As inclusion in the fashion industry continues to grow, look out for Vineet, you may seem him on the runway again someday.