Innovator: Mindy Scheier

President, Runway of Dreams
Mindy Scheier
Mindy Scheier Jennifer Plas/Runway of Dreams

Mindy Scheier realized how limited clothing options were for the disabled when her son, Oliver, wanted to wear jeans to school. Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, Oliver usually just wore sweats that could fit over his leg braces. “No mainstream brand was including the disabled buyer,” she says, “and the adaptive clothing that existed was medicinal, not stylish.”

So Scheier founded Runway of Dreams, which educates retailers about designing for people with disabilities, one of the largest market segments in America, with a collective disposable income of about $490 billion. “We show them they can adapt what they have with Velcro and magnets and enclosures,” she says. Partnering with Tommy Hilfiger on a line of adaptive clothing in 2016 was a watershed moment. “It proved this was viable,” Scheier explains. “Then came Target, and I got on Zappos Adaptive's advisory council. Nike has been incredibly supportive. It's really happening—and in not that long a time.”

About the program

We're saluting innovators who have developed creative solutions to the problems that face our world—pollution, economic disparity, war, discrimination and more. Say hello to the creative class of 2019.