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Top 10 disabled models taking over fashion industry

Disability is not stopping women to make their mark in the fashion industry; they are making powerful statements worldwide. 

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Disability is not stopping women to make their mark in the fashion industry; they are making powerful statements worldwide. 

Ellie Goldstein

Ellie is a British Model belonging to Ilford, Essex. She started modeling at the age of 15 and has Down syndrome. She is represented by Zebedee Management, an agency committed to representing models with disabilities and alternative appearances. She has worked for Vodafone and Nike. She was worldly known when she was hired by Gucci to market their beauty products, in her interview with British Vogue Ellie said “Representation is very important to me, let the world see that anyone can model and act with a disability”

Carola Insolera

Carola was born deaf, in Norway. In her early career, she worked as an actor, clown, TV presenter, trapeze artist, and contortionist. Insolera appeared in Copenhagen Fashion Week in 2011 and is working since then on catwalks and photoshoots. Being deaf gave her strength to use visual communication she says “The deafness is an opportunity, an asset I would say. It enables me to reinforce my sight and my visual communication. I’ve always used it as a force element, kind of an advantage”. 

Alexandra Kutas

She is known to be the first model on the ramp with the wheelchair. She started using a wheelchair after having a spinal cord injury during her birth due to medical negligence, she was born in Ukraine, and she participated in Ukrainian Fashion Week  

She says “Ever since I began modeling in Ukraine, people’s perception towards diversity has changed”, Brands like me after seeing my photos but the moment they see me in a wheelchair, they back out. I’m trying to break those barriers. With my passion and professional ethics, I’m as good as any other model even if I’m wheelchair-bound”. 

Jillian Mercado

Mercado was passionate about fashion but was unable to find people like her in the industry. She was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when she was 13 years old. Her first campaign was with Diesel, now she is looked up to as a social activist and model. She has worked for Beyoncé’s activewear line, Nordstrom and Ivy Park.  

Chelsea Werner

Werner diagnosed with Down syndrome has been featured on the cover of Teen Vogue; she also has walked on the ramp of New York Fashion Week and has done campaigns for brands. She was a former world champion in gymnastics later she wanted to join the fashion industry. 

In an interview with Forbes, she said, “If I can help give anyone hope that makes me very happy and proud!” she loves to inspire people. 

Danielle Ann Sheypuk

Danielle Ann Sheypuk was born with spinal muscular atrophy. She is Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She became the first model to walk on the ramp of New York Fashion Week 2014. 

Sheypuk is American Psychologist and master to solve problems of people with disabilities according to her disable people are attractive, glamorous, and desirable. She calls herself sexpert and resolves psychology of dating, sexuality, and relationship for disable people 

Madeline Stuart

Stuart has been titled as the world’s first professional adult model with Down syndrome, she is from Australia. Madeline Stuart appeared on New York Fashion Week catwalk, the Paris Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, Runway Dubai, and many others. She has represented her country in basketball, cricket at Special Olympics; she performs regularly inside and outside. She founded a school in Queensland to cater to and help dance disable people. 

Emily Barker

Barker suffers from a really painful disease called paraplegic with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS); she is a model, artist, and activist from California. Her social media inspires people and gives the impression of activist and model in her. Her posts portray the challenges disabled people face in the fashion industry. 

Nina Marker

Marker was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder when she was 15. She is a Danish model and was discovered at Mcdonald’s when she was 16 years old. She has modeled for the biggest brands in the fashion industry like Dolce, Channel, Gabbana, and Stella. She uses are position and her social media to raise awareness in people about autism. 

Debbie van der Putten

Putten is a Dutch model, she lost her right arm above the elbow in a bus crash when she was 19 in France. This never stopped her from being a model; she was a contestant on “Britain’s Missing Top Model” in 2008 and has been featured in Cosmogirl, Elle, and Playboy. 

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