Madeline Stuart just made history as the first-ever Australian model with Down syndrome to walk at New York Fashion Week, and it looks like the audience was just as excited as Madeline herself.
The 18-year-old walked the FTL Moda show on Sunday in the historic Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station, with the fashion house promoting #FashionFreeFromConfines through a partnership with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Models of Diversity.
Madeline walked the runway twice in resort wear and couture. Her outfits included a stunning one-shoulder gold gown, plus an intergalactic-inspired shorts and tank combo, which she rocked down the catwalk with two strapping lads in head-to-toe body paint.
In the spirit of diversity, Madeline was in good company and joined by 28-year-old Rebekah Marine, who proudly calls herself a “bionic model” after being born without a right arm. She is a spokeswoman for her new i-limb, a state-of-the-art prosthesis.
“I think a lot of brands are very hesitant to include models that aren’t necessarily five nine, skinny, blue eyed, blonde,” she told AFP (via Yahoo). “So it’s a challenge but we’re definitely making progress and it’s so awesome to be a part of that.”