Garments for the Visually Impaired

Garments for the Visually Impaired

Garments for the Visually Impaired [Illustration by Shinod AP]

A fashion designer named Wendell Rodricks launched his Visionnaire collection in Mumbai recently. The garments look like any other fashionable range. There are ready-to-wear tunics, palazzos, sarongs, wrap-arounds, halters, shirts and accessories for men and women. But if you look closer, you will notice that they have interesting patterns embroidered on them.

These are actually information in the Braille script for the visually impaired buyer. The names of colours are stitched on to the garments to help the customer decide what s/he wants to buy.

Conceptualised by fashion writer, Meher Castelino, the collection was created by Rodricks, a Goa-based designer.

A blind person’s disability does not erase his desire to be well dressed. When s/he goes to buy clothes, it is quite easy to know the texture of the material s/he is buying, whether it is cotton, crepe, silk or lycra, Rodricks told the Financial Express newspaper. What is difficult to know is the colour, he added. And that extra bit of information is what these clothes offer – in a language the buyer understands.

Interestingly, at the launch, the garments had more sighted buyers than the sightless.

The clothes are, however, quite expensive for an average sightless customer as they are priced between Rs. 1,050 ($22.8) to Rs. 6,000 ($130.4).

But, this is obviously the beginning. Such garments have to be mass produced, the newspaper said. All one has to do is give an inch of space somewhere on the sleeve or the hem for the visually challenged buyer.