Jamie Brewer an actress, best known for her role in American Horror Story, who just happens to have Down Syndrome, became the first model with Down Syndrome to walk down the catwalk at New York Fashion Week yesterday.
Designer, Carrie Hammer, booked Brewer to model as part of her “Role Models Not Runway Models” campaign, which the designer started when she was first asked to show her line at Fashion Week.
This is not just about fashion, this move, and the campaign, is breaking boundaries for people with intellectual disabilities in the world of fashion, and beyond. And Brewer herself sees the significance; “Young girls and even young women…[see me] and say ‘hey, if she can do it so can I”. Brewer, told Today; “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.”
Hammer told Today; “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.”
Hammer did include a model in a wheelchair on both her runway and print campaigns and, even if unwittingly, this has become a statement and sparked a new debate on our – and the fashion industries – definition of beauty.
Referencing the dress she wore at New York Fashion Week, Jamie said; “It’s amazing, it’s really neat. Many women have many sides to their personality, this dress fits…mine. I am honored to be in it.”
It’s time for change, fashion is not exclusive to the skinny, pretty or rich, its something everyone can enjoy and have a passion for. Therefore, the shows, campaigns and social media threads should reflect this.
Bravo Hammer and Brewer.