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New Fashion Brand FFORA Launches Sleek Wheelchair Attachment Accessories

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New fashion brand FFORA launched its first set of accessories into the world. And, unlike other brands who make fashionable accessories, FFORA’s products are designed specifically for wheelchair users looking for sleek, functional and adaptive items.

FFORA unveiled its first line of wheelchair-accessible accessories on Tuesday, including a colorful line of essentials bags, trendy cupholders and a wheelchair attachment system the company says will fit most manual wheelchair brands. Its goal is to make adaptive fashion mainstream.

“Our mission statement is simple, the world made accessible to all,” reads a statement on the company’s website. “It’s a big goal but it has to start somewhere. We’re starting with what we know we can do, create beautiful, functional accessories that brings disability to the forefront of design.”

FFORA was created by designer Lucy Jones after a conversation she had with a younger family member with cerebral palsy about the issues he had with clothing and accessories as a wheelchair user, according to Teen Vogue.

“Very quickly I learned that, in fact, there were quite a few things that were challenging for him, and it completely opened my eyes,” Jones told Teen Vogue, adding:

This challenged me to better consider the accessibility of my creations and reach out and listen to others’ stories. I spent a year listening to a diverse group of individuals who all had varying needs and desires. Quite often we design things without thinking about all of our customers, and I felt there needed to be a brand that represented design with accessibility at its core, thus, FFORA was born.

Jones said the key to FFORA’s fashion accessories is its clamp and open dock attachment system, designed to fit 170 brands of manual wheelchairs. When you purchase your attachment system online, which comes in three finishes, a dropdown menu lets you select your wheelchair brand and model so you know you’re getting an attachment system that fits.

FFORA’s other accessories, a flexible crossbody or dockable bag and a cup holder, magnetically slide into the wheelchair attachment system for easy access. The zippers on the essentials bag include thumb pulls to make it easier if you don’t have fine motor skills, and the bag can open completely flat so it’s easy to see what you have inside.

To launch its first adaptive fashion accessories, Jones said FFORA collaborated with disabled people every step of the way, including providing employment opportunities. She hopes other brands and designers will realize through FFORA’s products that beautiful and creative design can and should make adaptive fashion the norm rather than the exception.

“In the past, brands that have attempted to tackle or address disability issues have traditionally felt inauthentic,” Jones said, continuing:

Inclusion and representation are very important, but they shouldn’t feel like a required check-box, and the design should further reflect the investment into the community it serves. The first and most important thing is to involve and invite the community into the design discussions, listen to feedback, and incorporate their suggestions. … I hope people see FFORA and understand that by designing with disability in mind, everyone will benefit.

FFORA’s adaptive accessories are available on its website. The essentials bag ranges from $108-138, the cupholders are $25 and the attachment system is $49. Accessories are also sold in bundles that range from $74-212.

Header image via FFORA

Originally published: August 1, 2019
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