Fully Funded: Luxury Clothing For Special Needs Individuals

A Kickstarter campaign launched by Richard Nachum Kligman seeks funding for a luxury line of clothing catering to those with special needs, and the campaign was just recently fully funded.

The brand is called Mianzi. Kligman’s son Moishy was the inspiration for Mianzi, which means “a face of dignity & prestige” in Chinese. Moishy lost oxygen at birth and has cerebral palsy, which causes him to drool. Kligman grew frustrated with the fact that his increasingly grown-up son was forced to wear a bib and went in search of an alternative. When he found none he began developing his own and brought his solution to Kickstarter.

Mianzi also means bamboo in Swahili, which is of note because bamboo plays a bit part in the design of the shirts. Mianzi shirts are 70% bamboo rayon, 30% organic cotton. Bamboo is highly sustainable and in living form is also antimicrobial. Now, the Kickstarter campaign for Mianzi claims that their shirts are antimicrobial as well, but the antimicrobial properties of processed bamboo textiles are highly disputed.

Having said that, Kligman alludes to other nice features of the shirts. They’re extremely heavy and about twice as thick as a normal t-shirt, and he says that makes them extremely durable. Whereas a typical t-shirt weighs just a few ounces up to 8 ounces, a Mianzi shirt weighs around 14 ounces. He also says they dry up to 4 times faster than a standard 100% cotton t-shirt. The weave is also done in the same fashion as a terry cloth towel, which helps the shirts absorb moisture.

The standard Mianzi shirt can be worn by anyone, but a special needs version of the shirt includes additional fabric on the front of the shirt and shoulder snaps for easy removal. There are four colors and various styles available.

Kligman has worked with Tanya Blanding in developing the shirts themselves. Blanding owns and operates Whats2Wear, a New York-based fashion & design consultancy.

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