Help Fund The SEAMS: Un Vogue Fashion Stories

Posted on November 18, 2014

Let’s kickstart this amazing podcast about the culture of fashion!

A talented group of NPR veterans has teamed up to create stories about fashion. Here’s the thing: the people and the stories will be real. These stories will look at fashion in the context of anthropology, history, symbolism and culture. These stories will feel relatable and educational. And I can’t wait. Only I have to. Because The SEAMS needs funding.

Jacki Lyden of The SEAMS

Jacki Lyden of The SEAMS

There are few surefire ways to see an innovative idea or product come to fruition. Which is why crowd-funding is so important. In the last few years, Kickstarter has provided the masses with endless opportunities to support products we want. Products that we wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to purchase or invest in.

The two glaring successful Kickstarter projects that come to my (ableist) mind are the Top and Derby cane and the eOne Bradley Tactile watch (and my Peloton bike and Reading Rainbow). Sometimes visionaries need the support of a platform like Kickstarter to find their way out of a Catch-22. Here’s the dilemma: How do you show that an idea or product is valuable when there is no proof of that value. What do you do when it’s never been done before? When a Kickstarter is successful and a venture is funded, that funding becomes the proof that it no longer needs.

kickstarter-badge-funded

This will be the first of three Kickstarter posts. The first of these three amazing and original products. The first of three posts that invite you to participate rather than to just look. I am so thrilled to introduce you to ‘The SEAMS’ official Kickstarter campaign.

The global industry of fashion has dominated media in its ‘highest’ form: the catwalk, the model, the unattainable. The concept of fashion has lost all semblance of context. We often forget that our garments are a web that binds our world together. Fashion has become fodder, commented on by critics, looked at unnaturally by those who ‘don’t understand.’ It is my hope that The SEAMS will remind us that we all get it, we all understand. We’re all participants.

The Seams Kickstarter

Each and every one of us contribute to a culture of fashion. And we all do it differently, individually. So why is it that all of the stories have become about those who do it in the most ‘forward’ way? How do these ‘forward’ thinkers influence the garments we cover our bodies in? How do we influence these ‘forward’ thinkers?

I look forward to discovering how The SEAMS changes the concept of ‘fashion forward’ to ‘forward thinking.’ I believe fashion should appeal to our deepest and most reflective selves. What does a garment mean to you? What does it mean to the person on the other side of the country or planet from you? What is the history of this shirt? What are the politics of that hat? Is this scarf a tradition? Do those socks display your individualism? Are you wearing your rebellion? Chastity? Religion? Sexuality?

I don’t have a lot to give. But I am someone who gives to my public radio station. And in that same way, I will be giving to The SEAMS Kickstarter Campaign. My partner is a talented fundraiser who likes to remind me that there are two very important numbers when raising money: There is the financial goal and there’s the amount of backers. A simple one dollar donation will say a lot more than just the value of a dollar.

Kickstarter The SEAMS

The SEAMS has already brought some incredible stories to life. You can check them out on NPR. Your funding will allow The SEAMS to continue telling these untold stories. It will also give them the means to do more travel and production intensive storytelling. I believe the value of these stories will be much greater than the amount of money it takes to get them made.

If you aren’t sure if The SEAMS will interest you, I want to let you know why interests me. I am first and foremost a disability advocate. I believe that the inclusion of assistive devices in mainstream retail collections will decrease the stigma of disability. My beliefs about assistive devices are backed not by vanity, but by medical literature, psychology, science sport and retail trends.

On page 86 of a delightful book called Women in Clothes, Associate editor Mary Mann recalls  conversation with her mom. “She told me that in hospice, where she works, “you notice sometimes people are happier when they’re wearing their favorite thing. Obviously, they can’t go anywhere. Nobody is going to see them. But still. It makes a difference.”

Women in Clothes

If you have a moment, check out Why be Fashionable if You Can’t See. When asked how she knows what she is wearing, author Maribel Steel says “choosing one’s clothing is a matter of FEELING first, then seeing how it all fits together. When you feel good in what you wear, you will look great!”

And to me, that perfectly sums up the world of fashion and the heart of The SEAMS. I hope you’ll pop on over to their Kickstarter.

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