Fashion, Philanthrophy and an Underserved Niche

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Ashley DeRamus is a fashion entrepreneur and the founder of the Ashley DeRamus Foundation, which seeks to further the education, advancement and quality lifestyle of children and adults with Down syndrome.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Ashley DeRamus is launching a fashion line for women with Down syndrome.

The 30-year-old from Birmingham, Ala., has Down syndrome and knows how challenging it can be to find fashionable clothing that fits.

“We came up with the idea for a fashion line for girls with Down syndrome because it has been so hard to find clothes for Ashley over the years, making shopping more of a hassle than an enjoyable experience,” said Connie DeRamus, Ashley’s mother, who co-designs the collection with her daughter. “Those with Down syndrome tend to have different body types than most clothing lines are made for, and we wanted those with Down syndrome to feel just as confident as anyone else, so the idea for the fashion line was born. These clothes are meant to fit without alterations and to make those who wear them feel beautiful.”

The line will debut this weekend in Denver at the July 19-21 run of the National Down Syndrome Congress Annual Convention. There will be a dressing room and runway inside the Ashley DeRamus Foundation booth, where visitors can try on styles, take a turn on the catwalk and have their photo taken. Pieces will be available for sale at the show or online at Ashley DeRamus’ website. Ashley DeRamus, who is pictured wearing her designs, will also lead skin and makeup seminars at the convention.

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First published on July 15, 2013.