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Braille + Fashion = Beautiful Inclusive Design

Image is described in the body of the post.


It’s a great way to be able to advocate and express the importance of accessibility in fashion. And really, in the end, it’s just so clear that if you think about inclusivity at the very beginning of the design process you can truly make a product that can be worn by absolutely anyone. 


Editor’s Note:

Hey, guys. It’s me, Abby. I’m so excited to introduce you to Fashion Designer, Alexa Jovanovic of Aille Design. With inclusivity in mind, Alexa is shaking up the fashion industry with her beautiful braille beaded clothing designs. Recently I had the opportunity to meet Alexa in person at a photoshoot with none other than Bold Blind Beauty’s newest contributor, Catherine Harrison. Enjoy!

Interview Transcript

Catherine Harrison & Alexa Jovanovic wearing braille apparel. Full image is described in the body of the post

Abby: I’m sitting here with Alexa Jovanovic and I got to witness her amazing, just out of the world clothing and got to watch a photoshoot with lovely Catherine Harrison. And oh my gosh you guys stunning in your clothes Alexa, thank you for being with me!

Alexa: Thank you so much, Abby, you’re so sweet, it’s been an absolute blast today! Catherine’s phenomenal, you’re phenomenal this is great!

Abby: Oh my gosh, yes, I have to say yes, just watching how you guys work and the enthusiasm you have for your clothes and Catherine oh my gosh stunning! It’s been so much fun. What you were talking about earlier I loved it when you were talking about the 10-year-old Alexa. Tell me about her and what she was thinking about?

Alexa: Yeah, so when I was younger I always loved fashion, I loved dress-up and if I could find a way to turn that into my reality in my future that is exactly what I wanted to do. So it started when I went to university for fashion. I studied at Ryerson in Toronto and that’s actually where this entire company sort of started; my braille clothing.

So what I do, I have a company called Aille Design, it’s spelled A I L L E and what I do is I add braille beading onto clothing and it’s done in a way that’s really aesthetically pleasing but functionally it allows anyone who can read braille to fully envision what their clothing is.

So they can read exactly what the color of the garment is, what the decorations are, how you even launder it, and how it’s supposed to fit. Everything you would want to know so 10-year-old Alexa is ecstatic that the dreams are coming true.

Abby: That’s so awesome! I bet 10-year-old Alexa was never thinking about braille and tell me about what drew you to braille?

Alexa: So braille, I think it’s absolutely phenomenal the fact that you can read through touch is amazing, and then visually I just really love the design behind braille. And so I remember I was shopping and something clicked. I saw all of this beaded clothing and I immediately made the comparison between the similar size of small beads and braille.

I loved beaded clothing and I saw there was a market for individuals with low vision or no vision at all who could really benefit from doing something like this. It’s a great way to be able to advocate and express the importance of accessibility in fashion. And really, in the end, it’s just so clear that if you think about inclusivity at the very beginning of the design process you can truly make a product that can be worn by absolutely anyone. 

Image is described in the body of the post

Abby: Anyone is right, and I’ve got to tell you, you know, we were talking earlier and I just love it that you do braille and what really really drew me is who was how who did you work with I mean who helps you?

Alexa: To create all of the pieces, I work directly with the blind and visually impaired community. I’ll create different concepts, I’ll have designs in mind, and then I’ll discuss these with the different individuals I work with. We’ll bring braille samples we’ll confirm that all of the beading on the clothing is legible, that they’re in places that are comfortable to wear that look great and then also on that aesthetic portion of it, we also work directly with individuals who are fully sighted who love fashion so that way we can confirm that this entire process maintains that fashion appeal. Because like I said, this really is a product that can be worn by absolutely anyone.

Abby: Oh my gosh, and it’s so true. I myself everyone knows Abby loves her stilettos and when I felt the leather jacket with the feathers I was in love and the leather was so soft and the braille is so on point. It’s done so, you said elegantly, everybody she’s totally being shy here.

Alexa: [laughs]

Abby: It is amazing! Well, I had to throw my jacket off you saw it. Oh my gosh, my friends are going to die over it, they’re just going to die. I can’t wait, I can’t wait to wear something of yours I cannot wait to do it. 

Alexa: Let’s make it happen.

Abby: It totally will. So where do you see yourself going from here? What do you envision for your company where do you want it to go?

Alexa: So the response has been absolutely incredible, so much positive feedback for the brand. It’s growing even quicker than I could have imagined. Opportunities are coming up that I never in my life would have thought were possible. So right now I’m looking for manufacturers and really wanting to bring this clothing line to life. So we’re in the process of building an online store and we’re going to start selling later this year. 

Abby: Oh my gosh!

Alexa: World domination is next!

[both laugh]

Abby: YES! Can I accompany you with world domination? Because you know me, Abby, I’m going to take my purple and pink cane and my guide dog and we’re on this. 

Alexa: Absolutely! Honestly, anyone within the community who wants to be involved please reach out. That is exactly what I want to do, that’s how this relationship started here. That’s how the photo shoot with Catherine Harrison earlier today started. There’s so much potential with the clothing here and I want to work with everyone who loves it. 

Abby: Oh my gosh, that is so great! So if they want to reach you, how do they get a hold of you and see your work? Because we need to get this out for you because we’ve got world domination going. And we’ve got to be wearing our stilettos to rock it. 

Alexa: Instagram is the best platform to reach me and to see what’s up to date with our brand. Our tag for Instagram is @AilleDesign so if you DM me on there you ‘ll also get all the information for our website, email. Contact me and let’s make this happen! Let’s make braille fashion the future!

Alexa: Awesome!! Give me a high five!

Connecting With Aille Design:

Image Credits:

Special Thanks To:

Image Descriptions:

  • Header: Models Kassandra Hazlehurst (denim jacket) and Catherine Harrison (white button up shirt & black skirt) are posed standing next to Alexa in an all-black outfit with white Braille beading. The ladies are in a gorgeous dining room with navy walls, a gold ceiling, and black and white art.
  • Catherine Harrison standing with Alexa (in all-black outfit) is looking fierce with a gorgeous smile and her white cane in hand. She’s wearing the blue dress design with white Braille beading and it compliments her red lipstick beautifully! The background has stunning black and white artwork and a navy wall.
  • 6-Panel gallery of Catherine. In five of the photos she is wearing the white button up shirt with black Braille beading with a black skirt. Clockwise top left to right first two photos are stunning full body shots of her with black pointed toe heels and her white cane. The third photo is a black and white profile headshot of Catherine in an off the shoulder sweater. In the fourth photo Catherine is showcasing the black Braille beading on the collar of the white button up shirt. Fifth image is a closeup shot from the waist up. The sixth image captures the full outfit, a big smile and a background filled with stunning artwork.
  • Clothing rack with five Aille Design pieces. 1. Denim jacket with pearl white stripes and black beading 2. Black faux leather jacket with black beading and feathers 3. White button up shirt with black Braille beading. 4. White skirt with black Braille beading. 5. Long cobalt blue dress with white beading.
  • 3-Panel gallery. Catherine is wearing the colbalt blue dress with white beading. Two of the images are full body shots with Catherine posing with her white cane in one. The third photo is an above the waist image of Catherine smiling as she looks away from the camera.

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