Inspiration comes in all ways and in so many people, and that is what Jamie Brewer will provide when she walks down the catwalk at New York Fashion Week. She will not only walk with her head high and pride, but she will be the first woman with Down syndrome to ever step foot on the runway.
Today was able to catch up with Jamie Brewer, and speak with her about being a part of New York Fashion Week.
"Young girls and even young women … [see me] and say 'hey, if she can do it so can I,'" says Brewer, an actress known for her work on American Horror Story and an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities.
"It's a true inspiration being a role model for any young women to [encourage them] in being who they are and showing who they are."Jamie Brewer is going to be modeling as a part of Carrie Hammer's "Role Models Not Runway Models," and deliver a big message.
The campaign started last year when Hammer was asked to present her line at Fashion Week. She didn't just want to show clothing, but wanted truly represent the women that bought her designs. It was then that she realized that her clients came from all different lifestyles and parts of the world.
That was when Hammer invited Danielle Sheypuk, a friend of hers, to model in the first show. Sheypuk uses a wheelchair.
"I called up my existing clients who were all incredible women and one of them happened to be a doctor and a sex therapist who happened to be in wheelchair... It was never intended to be this incredible statement."From that point on, hundreds upon hundreds of women and young girls sent thank you's and gracious words to Hammer to show their appreciation. It was one email that even made Hammer cry, due to the beautiful thoughts, and it came from Katie Driscoll, co-founder of Changing the Face of Beauty.
"Thank you for being the change that is long overdue. I could literally cry every time I read an article talking about your decision to include a model who just happens to have a disability! YOU are what this world needed!"Driscoll's daughter, Grace, was born with Down syndrome and asked Hammer if she would "have a role" for her. She did indeed, and that was when "Role Models Not Runway Models" sprang to true life and brought forth show nominations from around the world.
Jamie Brewer is best known for her role as Addie in American Horror Story: Murder House, Nan in American Horror Story: Coven, and Marjorie in American Horror Story: Freak Show. She is also a huge advocate for people with intellectual disabilities.
At the young age of 19, Brewer was elected to the State of Texas ARC Board and has also worked on the Executive Board for the State of Texas ARC and the Governmental Affairs Committee for the State of Texas. On the latter, she was the only member with a disbility.
Hammer has deigned a dress for Brewer that she hopes can come close to showing her fantastic qualities in life.
"American Horror Story is dark, scary, bewitching so we had to go with black and Jamie has a beautiful body with a teeny waist and curves and we went with an A-line."This is not just a dress that Carrie Hammer hopes will be worn by only Jamie Brewer, but also by Michelle Obama as well. There is a lot of hope and future excitement in it for her, but Brewer may be even more excited.
"It's amazing, it's really new. Many women have many sides to their personality, this dress fits... mine. I am honored to be in it."Well, the world is honored to see Jamie Brewer in the dress from Carrie Hammer, and watch the young actress in action. Soon, she will walk down the runway of New York Fashion Week as the first model with Down syndrome to ever step out on the catwalk, and she will make it count.
[Image via Michael Hansel]