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Open Style Lab

A custom made winter coat for Xian, our client with Cerebral Palsy. This garment conforms to her particular posture in terms of fit, easy mobility and is adapted for her special dexterity.

Open Style Lab is a collaborative program that focuses on making clothing accessible and stylish for everyone. 

My Role: UX Researcher and Designer

My Deliverables: Sketches, Research and Implementation, Interviews, User Testing, Documentation - Photography and Videography

Team Members: Elizabeth Bodzy, Camila Chiriboga, Angela Delise, Elly Chieh-Li Lin, Rainie Zhiyang Xu

Our Client

  • 33 years old

  • Professional Speaker, Blogger, Teacher

  • Has Cerebral Palsy

  • Uses ski poles to help her walk

  • Limited hand and finger dexterity

Xian's Daily Activities

  • Traveling around New York City

  • Use cabs for the majority of the ride

  • Walk short distances

Xian's Everyday Items

  • Cell phone

  • Pursue/Shoulder Bag

  • iPad

  • Keys


Cerebral Palsy is a blessing in my life

- Xian

Cerebral Palsy is considered a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child’s brain is under development. Cerebral Palsy primarily affects body movement and muscle coordination.  [1]




Competitor Analysis


The North Face:


  • Waterproof

  • Flexible

  • Versatile



  • Difficult to put on

  • Does not fit Xian’s measurement

  • Looks too sporty





  • Waterproof

  • Elegant Design

  • Style suits Xian’s events



  • No hood

  • Difficult closure

  • Does not fit Xian’s measurement

Our Goals

Create a winter coat that addresses Xian's main pain points:

  • Comfort

  • Aesthetic

  • Mobility

Prototype 1

  • Create a prototype to test the form of the jacket layer and inner lining​

  • Inner lining with side closure was too difficult for donning and doffing

Prototype 2

  • Create a prototype to test another closure method with a long tie

  • Create a hood design

  • Jacket was too tight in the arm area, making it difficult to walk

  • We should look at incorporating different closures

Prototype 3

  • Create a prototype that is made with quality material

  • Add stretch fabric to arm areas

  • Add higher neckline for warmth

  • Include different types of closures: zippers and magnetic buttons

  • Length at the bottom was too short

Final Design

What I learned and the next steps...

  • Working in a team with several designers was an enlightening experience because we truly defined the idea of "collaborative work". We all brought different backgrounds, perspectives and skills to the group. I truly appreciated the ability to work with such a diverse group of women. 

  • Since I have a background in photography and videography I documented the project with the summary video (linked above). I also aided in the development of prototypes. It was an exciting adventure playing with materials I was unfamiliar with. 

  • By conducting a multitude of interviews and user testing sessions throughout the project we truly listened to Xian's wants and needs. We created a design that addresses the flaws she currently faces with fashion.

  • In the future, we hope that fashion companies incorporate more diversity into their product development and campaigns.

More Work

  • LinkedIn - Black Circle
  • Dribbble
  • Medium
  • YouTube - Black Circle
  • Github
  • Codepen

© 2021 by Angela Delise

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