TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa fashion designer is looking out for individuals with physical disabilities. Lady Natasha Fines will launch her adaptable clothing line during Tampa Fashion Week.
Model Mariah Knieriem is a self-proclaimed fashionista. A crash six years ago severed her spinal cord impacting almost every aspect of her life.
“No independence at all,” she said, “I couldn’t even sit up on my own, I couldn’t dress myself. It was very hard.”
According to Knieriem, adaptable clothes aren’t cute. Fines wants to address and change the issue.
“I just realized there’s a huge gap in the industry,” she said.
The Tampa native is using her experience as a fashion buyer to build a brand catering to those with physical disabilities.
“Having magnets is very important, Velcro, hook and loop closures, zippers,” Fines said, “It’s just more accessible features on the clothing.”
She said adding function details to clothes that still have a fashion flare makes it easier to get dressed.
“This idea has been in my heart for a while, so, it’s been very emotional. It’s an emotional roller coaster throughout this whole experience,” Fines gushed.
For Knieriem, it’s a life-altering idea.
“Being from just plain Jane clothes to popping and everyone is going to look at me, I mean they already look at me just because I’m in a chair. Now, I can look good and I’m like ‘yeah, you can look at me,'” she said.
Fines debuts the line during Tampa Fashion Week which runs Sept. 27 – 30. She expects the clothing items to be available for purchase in October.