On Wednesday, Runway of Dreams once again announced it is collaborating with the iconic fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger to launch an adaptive version of the fall children’s clothing line. Following the success of the Tommy Hilfiger Spring collection (which nearly sold out within the first week), the fall collection features a baseball jacket with concealed MagnaReady® magnets to maintain the look of traditional snap closures, a polo with a MagnaReady® magnetic side seam opening for ease of dressing, and denim jeggings with an adjustable waistband and a MagnaReady® magnetic system and Velcro on the fly instead of traditional zipper and button for easy open/close — and many more great styles that kids will love at a price point parents will love, too.
We caught up with Mindy Scheier, the founder of RoD and longtime MDA supporter, to ask her about the clothing line, about back to school traditions and what’s new with the collection’s muse, her son Oliver, who will be starting sixth grade on September 6th.
What’s the hardest part of back-to-school clothes shopping for families facing neuromuscular diseases?
Finding adaptive clothing that is current, fashionable and in line with what everyone else is wearing is really challenging. This year, Oliver has to change into gym clothes before and after class, so he needs outfits that he can easily get in and out of. It’s so important for him to be confident in knowing that he can get dressed by himself while wearing the clothes he wants to wear. We’re thrilled to be launching a new adaptive children’s clothing collection with Tommy Hilfiger to give kids of all abilities that option.
How does Runway of Dreams’ second collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger help fill a gap in the apparel market for families like those MDA serves?
The success of the Spring collection really proved the need for brand-name adaptive clothing. We’re excited to work with Tommy Hilfiger again and bring more clothing options to this community. Oliver was born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, and we started Runway of Dreams because he wanted to wear jeans to school like his friends. With this collection, we are one step closer to making that a reality for people of all abilities, all backgrounds and all ages.
What is the best thing you put in Oliver’s backpack (or lunch sack) every day?
I like to put snacks in Oliver’s bag that can keep him full, like cheese sticks or yogurt, and a note to tell him I love him.
What are some ways teachers can make their classrooms more inclusive and accessible for kids with muscle-debilitating diseases?
Giving kids the opportunity to visit the classroom prior to school starting is extremely beneficial. Oliver and I always do a walkthrough so that we can work out any hurdles before the year starts.
What would you say to the family who wonders “how do you guys manage it all?”
We have good days and bad days like any family, and we pray the good days outweigh the others. Our secret is not to sweat the small stuff. If the beds aren’t made in the morning, but all the kids get to school and their appointments on time, then I would say that’s a win!
What’s the best part about school for your child?
Ollie would say “recess!” He loves anything social.
Do you have any back to school rituals or traditions?
On the first day of school, I wake up early to get the kids a treat for breakfast – something that they don’t get often – like donuts! It’s a fun way to start the school year. I also put notes in their lunches to tell them how proud I am of them.