Coralville fashion designer brings adaptive clothing to customers

The Coralville brand Eightfold Fox is making fashion adaptive clothing accessible for Iowans. The clothing features pieces made for people with physical disabilities.


Johnny Jarnagin

K. Fox, the owner of Eightfold Fox, describes a piece of clothing at Trunk Thrift Store in Iowa City on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022.

Emily Nyberg, News Reporter

After Coralville resident K. Fox could not find comfortable clothing to wear with a stomach disorder in fast fashion stores, they created their own brand –– Eightfold Fox.

“Naturally, I gravitated towards making sure that [the clothes] did not press on my stomach, and they weren’t one size fits at one time because that’s very uncomfortable for me with my digestive disorder,” Fox said. “You can adjust that for whatever size you are that day and it’s going to look fantastic on you.”

The two-year-old online brand is bringing adaptive clothing to Iowa City and surrounding communities.

Eightfold Fox is based out of Coralville and specializes in clothing designed and tailored for those with physical disabilities. Fox’s passion for adaptability in fashion stemmed from a need for clothing that accommodated abdominal pain, Fox said.

Fox’s originally worked a director of speech language pathology at a private practice clinic in Connecticut. Fox didn’t always plan on designing adaptive clothing; rather, it was born out of necessity, they said.

Eightfold Fox customer Tara McGovern said the clothing is designed in a way that helps with all types of disabilities and issues.

Fox’s clothing features pieces adapted for people living with arthritis, fine motor impairments, sensory needs, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and other conditions.

“I don’t have physical reasons that I specifically need adaptive clothing — other than some sensory issues — but the fact that Fox is capable of adjusting to people’s individual needs is so valuable and important, and they understand the ways clothing should be working for us,” they said.

The need for adaptive clothing impacts large numbers of people. One in four adults in America live with a disability and six in ten live with a chronic illness, as of 2020.

“They’re all adjustable. For example, the gatherer skirt has a certain circumference in the front, and it’s gathered into a waistband,” Fox said. “It’s got a flat waistband, which prevents you from having that really bunchy look that a lot of drawstring things can have. But in the back, it gathers with a drawstring.”

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Susan Abrahams, another customer of Eightfold Fox, appreciates how the clothing carried is not only functional, but fashionable.

“The clothing is beautiful, it’s well made, and it’s comfortable,” Abrahams said. “It’s hard to find things that don’t look like moo moos.”

Fox makes each item by hand and to order, giving shoppers the option to customize the fabric, size, and length of the items they are buying. This includes the option for ethical items made from 100 percent recycled fabric, buttons, and other materials.

McGovern said they also enjoy the sustainability factor of Eightfold Fox clothing.

“I really like the option of using ethical fabric which is usually repurposed fabric,” McGovern said. “It might be like end pieces.”

In addition to the clothing being adapted for physical needs, it is gender neutral — not marketed as men’s or women’s wear.

“Fox is very considerate about how their clothing is presented in terms of gender. Nothing is specifically gendered, which is really important to me.” McGovern said. “So [the clothing is] not only adaptive in the sense of physical disabilities, but also adaptive in the sense of gender performance.”

Two years into making clothing, Fox is still working on expanding their business, with the hope of making adaptive clothing more accessible.

“I started posting about my experience with this online, and the reaction was overwhelming,” Fox said. “People private messaging me saying, ‘Hey, did you know that what you’re designing would work for my disability as well?’ It has been wonderful to have all these people reach out to me.”