The Short of It
When we first told you about Madeline Stuart's dream of being a model in May, we had no idea her career would take off so fast. On Sept. 18, the Australian teen will walk in the FTL Moda show at New York Fashion Week.
Madeline announced her NYFW debut on her Instagram account with the hashtag #FashionFreeFromConfines as a salute to the fashion industry for allowing a young woman with Down syndrome to take the stage and break stereotypes of what a model has to be or look like.
FTL Moda is partnering with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation at NYFW to highlight successful people with disabilities.
"We share their steadfast commitment to raising awareness for the paralysis community, and together, we will break down barriers to achieve total inclusion for models living with disabilities across the most prestigious runways of the world. By challenging the stereotypes surrounding disability, we will truly create fashion free from confines," FTL Moda producer Ilaria Niccolini told Yahoo Style.
Madeline's been busy working on advertising campaigns for lifestyle brand everMaya, fitness brand Manifesta and clothing line Living Dead. While modeling, she's also giving back to the Down syndrome community. Five percent of sales profits from the everMaya bag named after the teen will go to the National Down Syndrome Society.
"The world wants to be inclusive, it just hasn't had anyone on such a platform that they were able to do it easily," Madeline's mom, Roseanne Stuart, told Cosmopolitan. "Imagine in 10 years what society will be like for people with disabilities. It's not going to be how it is now, it's going to be the norm. It's probably going to be cool to hang out with someone who has an intellectual disability because you know that they care more about emotions than they do about the materialistic world. Everyone's going to want that friend to teach them what true love is."
Way to go, Madeline! You are a true inspiration. Work that runway!
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