New York Fashion Week: Model With Down Syndrome To Walk Catwalk

Dreams will come true next month when a model with Down Syndrome walks at New York Fashion Week.

The 18-year-old Australian model, Madeline Stuart, will walk at New York Fashion Week with MODA in association with the Christopher Reeve Foundation, according to Cosmopolitan.

Not only is New York Fashion Week in store for Stuart, but she is also working with handbag company EverMaya to have her own handbag line, which launches Friday. The company will donate 5 percent of sales of every “Madeline” handbag to the National Down Syndrome Society, according to Mashable.

“The generous donations that will come as a result of this new handbag line will directly support our mission at NDSS, as we fight for the rights, values and dignity of all individuals with Down syndrome and our families,” Sara Hart Weir, president of NDSS, said.

Stuart’s mother, Roseanne, told Cosmopolitan the request for Madeline to walk at New York Fashion Week wasn’t a big surprise to her.

“When we were asked to do New York Fashion Week, it didn’t surprise me. I don’t think anything really surprises me anymore. She’s been asked to do a lot of stuff and I was hoping to she’d get asked to do NYFW but I assumed it would happen. I hope that doesn’t sound too pretentious.”

The teenage model has been offered international modeling deals since pictures of her from a Facebook account went viral earlier in the year. Now Stuart is recognized in different parts of the world for her professional modeling skills, and New York Fashion Week will be another goal to check off on the list.

Madeline Stuart’s mother hopes that people will be more open to people with disabilities being in the public spotlight. She hopes New York Fashion Week will draw attention to Stuart’s love for herself, life, and other people. She wants discrimination to be a thing of the past once and for all.

“The thing I’d like people to take away from this is to not discriminate. Don’t judge a book by its cover. I would just like people to accept, love, and show kindness. That’s all this is about for us. The modeling is fun and everything, but it’s just a vehicle to get the message out. I think that’s why she’s done so well, is because this isn’t about us. It’s about fighting the fight for all the people out there that are a bit different that need to be loved.”

This model with Down Syndrome may be living the dream by walking the catwalk at New York Fashion Week, but her career doesn’t stop there. Madeline Stuart loves to model and plans to continue doing it for as long as she can.

[Photo by Madeline Stuart/Facebook]