Double Take Fashion Show

Reclaiming the Double Take with Genentech & the SMA Community

The Situation

Genentech makes a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), but making medicines is just one part of the company’s responsibility to the SMA community. That’s why Genentech launched SMA My Way—a program designed to build connections by sharing the lived experiences of people affected by SMA. SMA My Way uncovered what’s missing from societal conversations around living with SMA and presented the opportunity to support community-led programs that can begin to fill those gaps, while setting a new standard for unbranded campaigns.


Double Take Fashion Show participants Shane and Hannah

The Insight

Through SMA My Way, Genentech and Syneos Health facilitated an SMA community brainstorm, which revealed that people with SMA:​


Want to be recognized as unique individuals not defined by their disabilities and view fashion as a way to express their individuality.​


Want to be seen, not to hide or blend in.​


Feel infantilized by society, which is compounded by having to shop for clothes in the children’s section to get a decent fit. ​

It became clear that fashion is an important way people with SMA show they are creative, expressive and sophisticated, yet clothing that conveys those qualities tends to be the least accessible.

Our Solution


Double Take—a first-of-its-kind fashion show with start-to-finish SMA community involvement to break down disability stereotypes and champion adaptive design.

By creating an accessible high fashion event ahead of New York Fashion Week (NYFW), the SMA community invited the world to do a double take, not because of their disabilities but because of their style and individuality. Double Take involved many firsts for Genentech, including a partnership with NYFW, a YouTube livestream and a collaboration with the nonprofit Open Style Lab.

Show attendees received a program summarizing the accessible elements of the garments featured on the runway and a pocket guide that defined key disability activism terms. A live Q&A with SMA community members offered insights into why inclusivity and representation in fashion matter.​

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The Impact

As a result of Double Take, the SMA community experienced unprecedented visibility and adaptive fashion entered widespread public consciousness: ​


at the fashion show, standing-room-only, including 30+ reporters.​


earned media stories, including 51 national stories in outlets such as People, Daily Beast and Forbes. Vogue ran two articles about the show, and Elle listed Double Take as one of their top five NYFW moments.


video views,
including the YouTube livestream which earned 261K+ views, 10K+ likes and 1.1K+ comments.​


social media impressions,
425K+ engagements and 550+ organic social media posts.​

Discussed at the 2022 STAT Summit, 2022 Cambridge Science Festival and Reuters’s Pharma USA 2023.

Contact Us

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