Clothing designer Alexa Jovanovic is always looking out for how much disability inclusion is involved in clothing by fashion and clothing outlets. As she watched New York Fashion Week 2023, she saw all sorts of creative fashion elements but not inclusivity, which was disappointing too her.
28 year old Alexa is working towards addressing needs for disabled individuals through her own brand Aille (pronounce “eye”) which incorporates fully legible Braille beadwork. Her interest in Braille fashion started as part of a fashion research project in college, the outcome of which was a prototype – a white shirt with black braille beadwork. Through this research project, Alexa also built strong relationships with local blind and visually impaired individuals and learned about shopping, clothing trends, closet organization, and society’s misconceptions of what it is like to “look and feel” blind.
The design process at Aille is called “co-design” and a diverse team of sighted and non sighted individuals (braille readers, fashion stylists, and disability advocates) is creating inclusive clothing, reducing disability related stigma, and creating awareness around the importance of disability. Their clothing consists of motivational and custom messages in braille beadwork. Even though inclusivity is the focus of the brand, the clothing is accessible and easy to wear and maintain, especially for disabled individuals. Aille products do not require ironing, are machine washable, and designed for walkability. The brand that started with a prototype shirt has extended its offerings to blazers, dresses, sweaters, pants and more in the three years of its existence,
Below are some of Aille’s products from their website along with their descriptions. (Click to enlarge)
Head to Aille’s website and watch the videos below to learn more about the brand’s Braille beadwork clothing.