//  11.19.15

IZ and The Garden Create Accessible Fashion and Launch #FashionIZFreedom to Make the World a More Accessible Place

Toronto-based creative agency The Garden would like to introduce you to the all-new IZ – a company dedicated to the creation of sophisticated and functional clothing for people using wheelchairs, founded by renowned designer Izzy Camilleri. The company enlisted The Garden to help reframe and rebrand its business.

“It comes as no surprise that access to many things in life is limited for those who use wheelchairs,” said Shari Walczak Co-Founder of The Garden. “It’s why we loved meeting a company like IZ that was already making high quality fashion accessible to wheelchair users by designing with their unique needs in mind. But what was surprising to us is how little is actually being done about broader accessibility issues for wheelchair users around the world.”

Seeing the opportunity for IZ to have an even bigger positive impact beyond the world of fashion, The Garden proposed a shift to the company’s traditional retail business model with an initiative called Access10: with every product purchased, IZ will give 10 per cent of its total gross sales towards projects to increase accessibility. Through Access10, IZ partners with organizations such as Stop Gap to help mobilize teams to build brightly coloured ramps in communities across North America.

“People who use wheelchairs are a pretty broadly dispersed group making it tricky to use traditional demographic targeting tools,” said Shane Ogilvie, Co-Founder and Creative Director at The Garden. “With such a fragmented target, we needed to find a unifying point that would connect with the customer in a way that was uniquely relevant to them, but still mattered enough to a broader audience, as we needed a mass audience to become the conduit through which the message would travel.”

Headlining IZ’s brand relaunch is a new social media campaign called “Fashion IZ Freedom,” that utilizes the power of fashion to get the message out about the importance of making the world a more accessible place.

The campaign calls on people to order a special “Fashion IZ Freedom” t-shirt to raise awareness around accessibility issues. Once they receive the shirt, people are prompted with a card to “take a seat” for accessibility issues across North America by taking a seated selfie while wearing the shirt. They are then encouraged to share their pics with their social networks tagging @IZadaptive and #FashionIZFreedom.

One hundred per cent of the proceeds from the t-shirt sales will go towards building ramps in communities across North America.

The Garden also guided IZ through a complete strategic overhaul that also included an updated look and feel for the IZ brand. A new IZ logo and visual identity was designed that affected every consumer touch point including packaging, storefront, newsletters, company business cards, and the creation of a new e-commerce site [izcollection.com]. The Garden also helped IZ change the way it connects with customers, developing a new social and creative strategy for the brand to continue promoting itself and communicate with customers via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email.

IZ also collaborated with The Garden on refreshing its product line so that it would be creatively and strategically consistent with the brand’s new mission, starting with its 2015 Fall/Winter collection.

“Being a part of helping to reshape the clothing line was very exciting for us, and a great example of how our model applies a broader lens to creativity,” added Ogilvie. “By bringing in trend forecasters, stylists and design support, we were able to help ensure that Izzy’s end product aligned with the brand’s new promise.”

The Garden will continue to collaborate with IZ on its Summer 2016 collection.
About IZ
As one of Canada’s most celebrated fashion designers, Izzy Camilleri, has designed couture clothing that has been featured in Vogue and has dressed film industry A-listers like Angelina Jolie, David Bowie, Jennifer Lopez, and Meryl Streep. In 2004, came a turning point. A well-known journalist and wheelchair user contacted Izzy and asked her to design functional clothing that was also fashionable – something that certainly didn’t exist at the time. The experience inspired Izzy to create IZ’s first collection of style-savvy adaptable clothing created purposefully for a seated frame. Visit izcollection.com to learn more.
About The Garden
The Garden is a creative company, headquartered in Toronto, who believes that brands need to start focusing less on the impressions they buy and more on the impressions they make. Through the development of a strong strategic foundation and a holistic approach to creative problem solving and design, The Garden helps companies uncover the ‘why’ in what they do, in the hopes of making every connection point an opportunity to build stronger, more lasting relationships with their customers. thegardencollective.com