Aerie links with disability-focused Liberare for sexy, accessible intimates
“We focus on just talking to our community and seeing what they want, what they need, what they’re frustrated with in terms of dressing.”
Alyssa Silva, Liberare
Aerie and accessible intimates brand Liberare have joined forces on a line geared specifically toward the disabled community, an often underserved audience in fashion. The new collection brings bras and underwear specially designed for those with limited mobility and dexterity.
Wrestling with a standard bra’s tricky straps and closures is a major challenge for someone without much control of their hands. The Liberare bra and bralette combat that by building the garment with a grip-loop closure secured with a magnet, instead of the usual hook-and-eye clip. Straps can also be adjusted from the front, rather than the back.
Underwear in the collection is also designed to be put on without having to stand up. Velcro and magnetic fasteners at the hips allow for wearers to get dressed more easily while they’re seated or laying down. A higher waistline offers more comfort for seated (and non-seated) bodies, which makes it a convenient option for wheelchair-bound wearers and their caregivers.
All for one, one for all — Emma Butler, Liberare’s CEO and founder, said in a statement that the collection is meant to show the fashion industry just how “beautiful, fashionable, and worthy of radical self-acceptance” disabled people are. Liberare’s Chief Creative Officer, Alyssa Silva, personally has SMA type 1, also known as infantile SMA or Werdnig-Hoffmann disease. “We focus on just talking to our community and seeing what they want, what they need, what they’re frustrated with in terms of dressing,” she said in the brand’s blog.
Aerie has long since been a trailblazer for inclusivity and accessibility. The brand already offers pieces from Slick Chicks, a company that offers adaptive intimates for people with disabilities. Aerie also has a “no retouching” policy, showcasing “real bodies” in all of its campaigns. In 2018, the brand started incorporating disabled models into its marketing to include people of every ability in its pieces.
A step in the right direction — People are already commenting on how necessary these collections are to the disabled community. One Twitter user shared her excitement about finding a bra her sister “might actually be able to comfortably wear.” Others on Liberare’s Instagram are praising the collab’s inclusivity. One user commented, “It means a lot to see an Aerie model with a hand like mine,” while others say the pieces will help greatly with conditions like arthritis or surgery recovery.
The World Health Organization found that people with disabilities make up the largest global minority, a group that can be joined at any given moment in life. Although body positivity and inclusion is a global movement, adaptive fashion isn’t prioritized much outside of footwear — and even then, disabled people tend to get last pick.
The Liberare collection is available on Aerie’s website with prices ranging from $25 for the underwear to $58 for the bra. Hopefully, the collection sparks more brands to pay attention.