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Fashion Trends Surge Among B&VI Community

Fashion Trends Featured Image Description is in the body of the post.

Fashion Trends Surge Among B&VI Community

I wrote the following lightly edited article for VisionAware.org. (B&VI stands for blind & visually impaired). 

Editor’s Note: The week of March 11 was World Glaucoma Week. Peer advisor Steph McCoy, Founder, and CEO of Bold Blind Beauty, has written eloquently about her journey with this eye condition. As a real fashionista, in this post, she shares her thoughts on fashion trends, an important topic as Spring approaches. 

Does Loss of Vision Equal Frumpy?

There’s a misconception that sight loss equals frumpy and unfashionable. Likewise, there’s a silent societal expectation where people with sight loss shouldn’t be fashionable.

The truth is, there are people with sight who either aren’t interested in or have a lack of fashion sense. Also true, there are people who are blind or have sight loss, and they love fashion.

Thankfully, maintaining a sense of style and keeping a finger on the pulse of trends isn’t wholly reliant on eyesight. Like anything else, we can continue to enjoy and immerse ourselves in the world of fashion if we desire.

While the fashion industry still has a way to go where inclusion is concerned, the Internet has improved access to information. The Internet has made it possible for individuals with disabilities to become mouthpieces for change.

Fashion Trend Resources with Persons Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired In Mind

Today, there are many blind and visually impaired fashion content creators with plenty of room for more. With this in mind, here are few tips to help a person who is blind or visually impaired remain connected to fashion.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

  • When you know your style, stick with it.
  • Keep it simple and classic.
  • For trendsetters, taking risks is part of the fun in fashion, continue doing what you do.

Expand Your Fashion Resource Network

  • Follow and engage with fashion bloggers, vloggers, and writers. You can find them on blogging platforms, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
  • Read about and discuss the latest trends, styles, and seasonal colors with friends who have similar tastes and interests.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone you trust who will give you honest feedback.
  • Testing new looks? Take photos and share with your trusted online community or friends and family for feedback.

Easy Low Tech Fashion Resources

QVC does a remarkable job in describing their merchandise. Following is a small sampling of their fashion segments.

  • Morning Q Live – Style Edition
  • Amy’s Closet (Amy Stran)
  • Denim & Co.
  • Susan Graver Style

Seek Professional Assistance

  • Professional consultants develop in-depth personal profiles to suit individual needs
  • Personal Shopper/Styling Service
  • Beauty Consultant
  • Image Consultant

Final Note

As blind and visually impaired people, we face our share of barriers. We are not what’s happened to us, and we have the power of choice. Thankfully, we can choose how to move forward with our lives and allow fashion trends to play a role.

Fashion Trends Featured Image Description:

Tri collage of “yours truly” posing in front of my counter with my white cane wearing a black off the shoulder choker top, white jeans, black suede chunky high heels and silver jewelry.

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Sustaining Fashion Sense After Total Sight Loss

Fashion sense featured image description is in the body of the post.

Sustaining Fashion Sense After Total Sight Loss

I am a vision rehab therapist working with an individual who has recently lost all of her eyesight. She has always been very clothes and style conscious and would like to be able to stay that way. While she has an iPhone, she is not a computer user and does not plan to become one. Do you have suggestions for how someone who is blind can stay current on fashions – especially those new fashions seen in New York City, but not necessarily in the “boonies” where we live? ~Eileen B.

Abby is sitting cross legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Sporting her signature explosive hairstyle, she is wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her.

Thank you, Eileen, for your question, on behalf of your client. There can be unique challenges faced by people who are, or who become blind or visually impaired in many areas of life. However, here at Bold Blind Beauty, we believe there is always a way.

Based on what I can glean from your comment, it sounds like your client is new to sight loss and wants non-technological solutions to remain informed. Following are a few things she might consider:

  1. Going shopping with close friends or relatives who are familiar with her style
  2. Consultants will develop an in-depth personal profile to suit the individual needs of their client
    • Personal Shopper/Styling Service
    • Beauty Consultant
    • Image Consultant
  3. Shop or sales assistants can help her choose outfits based on her comments. It might be a good idea to call ahead first to make sure the store will have staff on duty to help.
  4. QVC does a remarkable job in describing the products they sell. Following is a small sampling of their fashion segments
    • Morning Q Live – Style Edition
    • Amy’s Closet (Amy Stran)
    • Denim & Co.
    • Inspired Style® – Late Night Edition (Courtney Cason)

Summary

Hopefully, with time your client will reconsider using technology as an option to keep up with the world of fashion as this will enable her to become more independent. There are so many resources online from blogs, YouTube videos, tutorials, and subscription services, to social media groups who are leveraging these platforms to get their message out to many diverse groups of people. Technology opens up an entire world of opportunities previously unavailable to those who are blind or visually impaired.

Fashion Sense Featured Image Description:

The photo is a storefront with five fashionably dressed mannequins in various model poses. There is clothing hanging on racks around the mannequins and cool spotlight fixtures hanging from the ceiling. The clothing (skirts, tops, pants, and dresses) is varying shades of blue, white, and gray.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have more questions.

Have a fabulous day!!

~Abby

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Virtual Beauty For Blind & VI Women

Abby's Corner image is described in the body of the post.
Created by Jessica Marano

Hello My Friends,

Can you believe another week has passed? It seems like it was just yesterday we were moving into this past week.

One might think that life as a cartoon character is boring but I have to say my life pretty phenomenal. I mean, think about it, who I am, what I do and who I become is only limited by my creator’s imagination. So if the imagination is boundless there is absolutely nothing I cannot do.

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.” ~Muhammad Ali

Technology has made what was once impossible possible. Take clothes shopping, for example, gone are the days where we have to go to a physical store to fulfill our retail therapy goals. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy shopping excursions with my gal pals but with such a busy schedule it can be just as convenient to shop online.

As technology continues to evolve it’s my hope that retail websites will become more inclusive from a disability standpoint. For example, many of us who are blind or visually impaired use special tools to assist us in navigating the internet however if a site is poorly designed, inaccessible or there is only minimal description these things make the buying experience less than ideal.

A dream product of mine is a “Mirror Mirror” like in Snow White. Once programmed with data needed to produce a verbal output it could help blind and visually impaired women with the ability to become as adept at makeup application as they so choose.

With adjustments to make them more accessible, virtual dressing rooms like tri Mirror or Dressing Room by Gap, can, in the long run, be beneficial to everyone. Being able to create a personalized avatar, inputting measurements, then trying on clothes, makes the tri Mirror an interesting tool but I’d love to hear input from my totally blind friends. Afterall if verbal feedback isn’t an option this will be an opportunity for us to make our mark.

Image Description: The Abby’s Corner illustration was created by Jessica Marano. I’m sitting cross-legged on the floor with my laptop (complete with my Abby logo on the cover) in my jammies and slippers. On my head, with signature explosive hairstyle intact, is a headset and microphone to allow me to use my accessibility features on my laptop.  My white cane is propped up next to me.

Au revoir! ~Abby

 

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Abby’s Corner #1

Girl’s Holiday Weekend Getaway

Hello, Hello,

Welcome to Abby’s Corner!

After my Bold Blind Beauty introductory interview on Friday, several of my girlfriends and I took a road trip to the beach. Lifelong friends who’ve taken different paths we make an extra effort for the five of us to get together at least several times a year.

From the moment we met up and piled into the vehicle the good times began. By the time we reached our destination we had laughed so hard for so long I swear all of us were going to wake up with laryngitis.

Description of the outfit pieces are in the body of the post.
White Cane Chic

On the first day of our getaway, we spent some time shopping, sightseeing, and dining. Most of day two was spent at the beach basking in the sun until it was time for our makeovers in preparation for the evening activities.

I always look forward to our ‘evening of glam’ especially when I get to unveil my latest seasonal ensemble. An off-the-shoulder top paired with bold multi-colored striped palazzo pants and ankle-tie suede sandals finished off with gold accessories and my white cane was waiting for me to don them.

The feminine appeal of the off-the-shoulder top (bare shoulders are always sexy) and the wide-legged pants combo cannot be denied as the fabric on the pants gently swishes from side to side as I walk. Another bonus, totally by accident, is how the red on my white cane coordinates with the red stripes on the pants which inspired me to call this look “White Cane Chic”.

Image Description:

  • White off-the-shoulder blousy top has a wide banded neckline and gathered cuffs
  • Palazzo pants with thick & thin red, navy, orange, and green stripes
  • Nude ankle-tie suede sandals, chunky block heel
  • Goldtone 2.6″ Cuff bracelet
  • Geometric earrings with round mauve patina brass piece and brass triangle

The Abby’s Corner illustration was created by Jessica Marano. I’m in my jammies and slippers, sitting cross-legged on the floor with my laptop (complete with my Abby logo on the cover) and my signature hairstyle floating about my head. My white cane is propped up next to me. I am wearing my headset and microphone to allow me to use my accessibility features on my laptop.  The final illustration is currently in the works.

As Steph mentioned on Friday, our site will be undergoing some changes in the coming weeks one of which will be, fingers crossed, moving to a self-hosted platform. We’ll also be moving some things around so please bear with us during this transition.

Ciao