If the fashion industry has consistently struggled with one issue above any other, it's diversity. Designers are constantly (and rightfully, we might add) on the receiving end of criticism when they don't include models of varied body types, ethnicities, races, and backgrounds in their shows. But one show at this round of New York Fashion Week flew in the face of all that.
The FTL Moda runway, held at New York's iconic Grand Central Station, featured models with a range of disabilities in an effort to include and display the beauty of women with all different body types facing all different kinds of challenges. And one model who walked the show stood out among the rest: 18-year-old Madeline Stuart, the first adult model with Down syndrome to hit the runways at New York Fashion Week.
Stuart, who has a giant social media following and dedicated fan base, modeled a couple of different looks in the show, including one stunning ball gown that you can see below. Though Stuart is not the first person with Down syndrome to walk at NYFW—actress Jamie Brewer from American Horror Story did so a few seasons back—she is the first professional model with Down syndrome NYFW has ever seen.
Head to The Fashion Spot to read more of Stuart's remarkable story. And keep scrolling to see some images of the model in action at NYFW!