Adaptive Jean Designer Receives Major Grant to Boost Production

By Kelly Rouba
Model and reality TV star, Angela Rockwood in ABL Denim
Jeans Offer Unique Features for Individuals with Mobility and Sensory Issues
LOS ANGELES, CA- ABL Denim recently received $250,000 through Mission Main Street Grants to further production and marketing of its line of premium adaptive jeans for men, women, and children.
“It was quite an honor to be selected as a grant recipient,” said Stephanie Alves, founder and owner of ABL Denim. “The grant has been received. We’ve since been able to provide faster delivery, as I am now able to produce small production runs with factories in Los Angeles that can meet greater demands as we grow.”
Alves was one of 35,000 small business owners who competed for a share of $3 million in grants from Chase. ABL Denim was one of only 12 businesses selected. Winners were also invited to Google’s headquarters in California to participate in a marketing workshop.

 As of late, Alves has been busy promoting her jeans at events like the Abilities Expo in New Jersey and an event hosted by Autism Speaks in Los Angeles. “I’ve received many orders, which shows there is a strong desire for adaptive jeans within the disability community. Practically everyone in the country wears jeans, but they aren’t easy for people with disabilities to wear. ABL Denim solves that problem.”
The idea to make adaptive jeans came about after watching her brother and step-sister struggle with dressing due to dexterity and mobility issues. A longtime fashion designer, Alves began making jeans to suit their needs—while keeping the latest fashions in mind. “Not only are these jeans made to look like many of the current styles in premium jean lines, they also have features and benefits that make them easier to wear,” Alves said.
Although the jeans vary in style, special features include:
        Zipper access through either the front or both sides (zipper lengths are longer for greater access)
        Hook and bar easy front closure
        Zipper pulls to making zipping easier
        Inside-out seams
        Higher back waists with elastic that allows for stretching across the back
        Side pockets for catheter bags or personal items
        Ultra-soft denim material to provide for added comfort
        Certain styles are designed to accommodate those with sensory issues.

According to customer requests, the next jean to add this year will be a skinny basic jean with inner leg zippers to assist in getting the foot though the leg opening and/or using a catheter. 

When asked how she feels towards making and wearing clothing, she states,"We all know our clothing choices affect our self-image, our mood and our day! When we wear something that projects our personal style that makes us look good, that is comfortable, and stays where it's supposed to, we can focus on what's happening at the moment in our lives rather than being self-conscious."

Although jeans are only available for purchase online, Alves is in talks with a major retailer about carrying the line and hopes to soon offer jeans in rehabilitation centers, hospital shops, and other mainstream stores soon. 
For more information or to purchase jeans, visit www.abldenim.com. To watch a video about ABL Denim featuring Angela Rockwood, click here.
About Stephanie Alves:
Stephanie Alves has over 25 years of experience in the fashion industry. Before she decided to focus on creating adaptive clothing, Alves designed clothing for such prominent companies as Ann Taylor Loft in New York. Alves founded ABL Denim in March 2013, as well as an adaptive alteration service called The Able Tailor in 2011.

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