A Beautiful Partnership of Fashion and Philanthropy

For the six million Canadians living with arthritis, something as seemingly simple as doing up buttons or zippers can make getting dressed difficult.

There are clothing options to make dressing for everyday easier, but what about those occasions that call for something special?

That’s a problem renowned Canadian fashion designer David Dixon put his mind to solving in creating his capsule collection of seven arthritis-friendly designs for Arthritis Society Canada’s Fashion on Fire event.

The collection, featuring magnetic closures and fashion-forward zipper pulls, was inspired by his niece Tricia Dixon, who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis at just 14 years of age. He’s seen how the condition can make it difficult for someone with sore and swollen joints to fasten small buttons or back zippers.

“With my new collection, I want people to feel at ease when they dress for an event,” says Dixon.

Arthritis is Canada’s most common chronic health condition affecting 1 in 5 or six million Canadians – a number that is expected to rise to nine million by 2040. It can strike anyone of any age and there is no cure. The idea that it only affects older people is a myth as more than half of people who live with the fire of arthritis in Canada are under 65.

Arthritis Society Canada is embracing innovation like never before by investing in cutting-edge research and supporting innovative new ideas that will help make life easier – and better – for people living with arthritis.

The Fashion on Fire event with Dixon is part of that innovative, creative thinking.

“Arthritis can impact every aspect of someone’s life – from their ability to move, to work and to what they can wear – fashion might seem like an unusual partnership but that is the point – to get people thinking about arthritis in a way they haven’t before,” says Trish Barbato, President and CEO of Arthritis Society Canada.

Dixon agrees.

“People relate to fashion, so I see this collection as a conduit for a conversation about arthritis. We have to be more proactive and daring in getting people’s attention,” he says.

Arthritis will also be the inspiration behind an upcoming partnership between Dixon and Arthritis Society Canada with the unveiling of an exclusive fashion item later this fall.

If you’ve been inspired to be part of helping to extinguish arthritis, check out arthritis.ca/fireball to learn more about Arthritis Society Canada’s inaugural Arthritis Fire BallTM gala on Nov. 12 at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York.

Hosted by CTV’s Michelle Dubé, the event will feature glamour, gourmet food, music, dancing and dazzling entertainment as people come together for an outstanding party with a purpose – to raise funds to fight the fire of this disease.