Seeing a fashion show in 2014 changed Madeline Stuart’s life. She fell in love with modeling and quickly rose up the ranks to become a runway staple at New York Fashion Week – and the first working model with Down Syndrome in the world. She nonetheless still has a huge goal that she’s yet to accomplish. And if Stuart succeeds, it would be a triumph for diversity.
In a September 2018 interview with Teen Vogue, Australia native Stuart told the story of how she made it into the modeling world. “I went to a fashion show, and when I saw the models on the catwalk, I fell in love,” she said. Stuart subsequently shared her newfound passion with her mom, who put together a photoshoot for her daughter.
“[It was set up] for me to see if I would actually like getting my hair and makeup done and posing in front of a camera,” Stuart explained. Needless to say, the 21-year-old loved it – and the rest of the world did, too. She shared the resulting pictures online, and they racked up more than 7 million views within a matter of days.