For those 422 million people afflicted with diabetes, finding something to wear can be a challenge. Many type-one diabetics wear an insulin pump or get multiple injections per day. Finding clothing that can accommodate one’s medical device or which offers easy access for frequent injections poses a challenge. That is where designer Natalie Balmain comes in.
“I can’t sit in a restaurant and pull my trousers down at the table — it’s not appropriate!” Balmain told Racked. “So you end up running away, don’t you? You go and hide in the bathroom and do your injections. Sometimes they’re not always the most pleasant places to be.”
Balmain wanted to do away with all that.
“It was annoying for me because I felt like I should be able to just do this wherever I want. It was really just the practical thing that was stopping me; it wasn’t a self-consciousness thing,” she says.
Having studied fashion, she decided to experiment and make a pair of pants with zippers to give easy access to an injection site. Her initial designs garnered an immediate positive response when posted in a Facebook support group for those afflicted with the disease.
This eventually gave birth to a full collection appropriately named “Type One,” which combined both form and function. And perhaps surprisingly, her e-commerce site has received interest from those without the disease, most notably Chelsea Clinton.
Inspiring story about Natalie Balmain, a designer making beautiful & functional clothes for diabetic women https://t.co/4AyLRErbVP
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) June 23, 2017
Fashionable garb such as crop tops, skinny pants, and cocktail dresses all incorporate discreet features perfect for those who have to wear a pump or give themselves frequent shots, while looking fabulous.
“I wanted them to look like clothes that everybody would want,” says Balmain. [Racked]