Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old model with Down syndrome, will appear in her first show at New York Fashion Week. Stuart will be only the second model with Down syndrome (after American Horror Story actress Jamie Brewer) to walk the runway during the famous fashion event.
Does she look familiar? That could be because earlier this year, Stuart posted modeling shots to her Facebook and Instagram accounts that went viral, leading to calls from agents and then professional modeling gigs. So far, she's been featured as a face for handbag line EverMaya as well as Manifesta, a brand of fitness gear.
The Brisbane, Australia, native announced her latest job last week on her Instagram account with the caption: "Guess who is modelling in NY for New York Fashion Week xx."
Stuart will walk in a show put on by FTL Moda, an organization that produces shows at Fashion Week, in partnership with the The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. FTL Moda was also host to Brewer's appearance this Spring. The group shared its excitement about Stuart's booking on Facebook: “It is with the utmost joy and pride that we announce Madeline Stuart’s participation in #FTLModa #NYFW #SS2016 presentation. Beautiful Madeline will brighten up the runway at the #VanderbiltHall on September 13th 2015. Stay tuned and RSVP!”
In her Facebook bio, Madeline writes that she hopes to change narrow definitions of what's possible for people with disabilities. “I am a model, I hope through modelling I can change societies view of people with Disabilities, exposure is creating awareness, acceptance and inclusion.”
Cheers to you Madeline, for showing the world that beauty comes in many forms.
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