Madeline Stuart, the 18-year-old model with Down syndrome, has just landed herself a spot on the New York Fashion Week runway.
The Australian teen, whose modelling photos went viral back in May, shared via Instagram that she will be walking September 13 with MODA, in association with the Christopher Reeve Foundation.
Stuart follows in the footsteps of “American Horror Story” star Jamie Brewer, who made history earlier this year when she became the first-ever model with Down syndrome to walk the NYFW runway.
“It is very exciting and it’s going to take her from one level to the next,” Stuart’s mom, Rosanne, told Cosmopolitan.com. “I know Jamie Brewer did it in February, but she is a movie star, she’s not a model. With Madeline, this is her career, so I think it’s going to be a great platform for her.”
And it seems as though Madeline’s career is going pretty well at the moment — just last month she was offered an ad campaign with body-positive fitness clothing brand, Manifesta, and landed a national ad campaign for luxury handbag line, EverMaya. Her hope is that “modelling will help change [society’s] view of people with Down syndrome,” and “exposure will help create acceptance.”
As for Madeline’s mom? She just hopes her daughter’s work will teach people not to discriminate.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” she told Cosmopolitan.com. “I would just like people to accept, love, and show kindness. That’s all this is about for us. The modelling is fun and everything, but it’s just a vehicle to get the message out. I think that’s why she’s done so well, is because this isn’t about us. It’s about fighting the fight for all the people out there that are a bit different that need to be loved.”