Monday 5 December 2016

18-year-old model with Down Syndrome makes New York Fashion Week Debut

Published 15/09/2015 | 12:17

Model Madeline Stuart walks the runway at Hendrik Vermeulen show during Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week
Model Madeline Stuart walks the runway at Hendrik Vermeulen show during Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week

Madeline Stuart(18) is attracting worldwide acclaim after she blew everyone away during her debut at New York Fashion Week.

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Madeline (Maddy), from Brisbane, Australia, walked the catwalk twice during the prestigious show as part of a production called "Fashion Free From Confines" by FTL Moda together with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and the British group Models of Diversity.

Finishing her show, a delighted Maddy told her mother "It was fun. I feel good!"

Maddy is the second model with Down Syndrome to rock the runways of New York Fashion week. Jamie Brewer became the first last February and Maddy's mother says the fashion industry 'becoming accepting' is "such a beautiful thing".

Maddy is the face of brands like Manifesta fitness wear and everMaya handbags.

"I want to inspire people not to bully anyone to see worth in everyone as equals".

7 most talked about moments at New York Fashion Week (so fa r)

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, her mother said that the duo "we want to change people’s perspectives on intellectual disability but what’s important is our daily routine and just being happy. We will only continue doing this as long as Maddy is happy doing this, it’s only what makes Maddy happy that’s important".

Madeline has over 400,000 likes on Facebook and has launched her own  not-for-profit organisation. She had a doll made in her honour and all proceeds went to the InsideOutside Dance Ensemble, a project that launched last month to give young people with disability the chance to develop new skills and performance techniques in dance.

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