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Paralympic uniform featuring accessibility modifications launched at Australian Fashion Week

Paralympic uniform featuring accessibility modifications launched at Australian Fashion Week

 


The official uniform of the Australian Paralympic team was revealed during Australian Fashion Week, with accessibility modifications created in collaboration with the team.

With just over 100 days until Paris 2024, the official uniforms and competition kits have been revealed.

Accessibility features include magnetic fasteners instead of buttons on jackets, elasticated waistbands for chinos and shorts, and zippers instead of laces on some sneakers.

This is the first time an Australian Paralympic uniform has incorporated universal accessibility modifications.

Australian wheelchair basketball player Tristan Knowles, wearing a green and gold jersey, sits and poses for a photo.

Australian men's wheelchair basketball team captain Tristan Knowles shows off his competition gear.(PAA: Bianca De Marchi)

“When you compete in the Paralympics, you have to put all your energy into your performance,” said para-triathlete Lauren Parker.

For Parker, who also wants to compete in para-cycling in Paris, adding a zipper in the shoes is of particular importance.

“Allowing the shoes to slip on rather than spending time putting them on makes everything easy,” she said.

Kate McLoughlin, the Australian team's long-time chef de mission, says the athletes were involved in the design stages.

“Our athletic commission has been instrumental in this process,” McLoughlin said.

“We have had [input from] athletes from a variety of different sports, with a variety of different disabilities as well, just to make sure they were comfortable and excited about the look of the uniform.

Although bespoke modifications have been made to Australia's uniforms from previous Games, Paris 2024 will be the first time accessibility features will be universal across the range.

“Different people with different abilities can participate, wear the uniform and not have any added stress,” McLoughlin said.

Dan Michel, world number one boccia player and two-time Paralympian, says it's his favorite uniform so far.

Paralympic boccia athletes Dan Michel and Jamieson Leeson sit in their wheelchairs and pose for a photo in Australian uniform.

Boccia B3 combines world number one team Dan Michel and Jamieson Leeson.(PAA: Bianca De Marchi)

“It’s very understated but still bold in its representation of Australia,” Michel said.

The formal wear, in particular, is a stylistic departure from previous uniforms, with the earthy green and almost sandy gold being an homage to the Australian landscape.

Back, The Journey, a work by Yuin woman Rheanna Lotter.

The piece has featured on every Paralympic outfit since its introduction in 2016, and this year it adorns the lining of ceremonial jackets and appears on Closing Ceremony t-shirts.

Published, update

Sources

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2/ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-05-17/australian-paralympic-uniform-paris-accessibility-fashion-week/103862032

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