Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia aren’t often addressed publicly and can be heavily misunderstood. This is why NYC-based graphic designer Michelle Hammer, 27, who suffers from the illness herself, has launched a clothing line designed to raise awareness of the disease and change how people generally perceive it.
Hammer launched her company Schizophrenic.NYC in 2015 after realizing how lucky she is: Her condition is moderate compared to many others with the same diagnosis.
She realized this when she encountered a man on the subway with whom she immediately empathized: He was talking to himself and seemed to be in another world, a feeling she often gets herself. That’s when it dawned on her that most people with schizophrenia might not have the same support (from family and friends) that she has, and she wanted to help those less fortunate kindred spirits.