NYFW: Down syndrome model Madeline Stuart makes modeling debut

By Wade Sheridan  |  Sept. 14, 2015 at 2:54 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Inspirational Down Syndrome model Madeline Stuart made her runway debut Monday during New York Fashion Week.

The 18-year-old modeled for American label FTL Moda's Spring 2016 collection, making her the second ever Down Syndrome woman to walk the NYFW catwalk.

Stuart first came out in a fantasy, white one-sleeved gown with feather-like ruffles reaching the ground. Next she donned a violet and red halter-neck-top with dark shorts and golden sandals.

"Maddie is making the world fall in love with her for her beauty and for her powerful dedication to show how shortsighted the concept of beauty and talent has been so far," FTL MODA said in a press release.

Model Madeline Stuart walks the runway for FTL Moda during New York Fashion Week on September 13, 2015. Photo by Andrea Hanks/UPI

Mother Roseanne Stuart, is proud of her daughter and hopes that Madeline's appearance can bring about some change in the fashion industry.

"We hope that her appearance at fashion week is going give everybody the strength to believe in themselves," she told ABC, "and to show leaders in the fashion world that everyone is equally beautiful and capable when given the opportunity."

Madeline's career started after she uploaded modeling photographs of herself to Facebook in May that quickly went viral.

Along with FTL MODA, the show was organized by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Models of Diversity, a British group that campaigns for diversity in the fashion industry.

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