Model with Down's Syndrome fulfills her dream of walking at New York Fashion Week
At New York Fashion Week, we're used to seeing the same models walk up and down the catwalk. They may be different people, but they all mostly look identical, representing the homogenised beauty norms that are standard practice in the fashion industry.
However, this weekend signified the beginning of a new day. On Saturday, a model with Down syndrome walked the runway in the Talisha White show, showing fans that the fashion world was, slowly but surely, opening itself up to different types of model.
Marian Avila, aged 21, fulfilled her dream when she walked the runway on Saturday in a series of fabulous evening gowns while her parents and siblings watched on in the audience.
Born was born in the Benidorm area of eastern Spain on the Mediterranean coast, Marian aspired to become both a model and actress from a young age. In particular, she dreamed of walking in the New York Fashion Week. However, as anyone who knows the industry will be aware of, it's easier said than done to make it to this runway.
Marian's dream came true when a model who knows prom and pageant evening wear designer Talisha White stumbled on a story about her fashion week dream. Once White - who was presenting her third collection at NYFW - was told of the 21-year-old's aspiration, she stepped in to help, soon putting the young model on the world stage.
"I felt really happy and I really loved the runway," Marian said through a translator after the show on Saturday. "I wanted to show the world that there are no barriers."
White also chose to cast Tae McKenzie, who uses a wheelchair and has a rare form of epilepsy which causes strokes. "There are so many people in my situation that don't believe dreams are possible," Tae said. 'There's nothing you can't do. Doctors may say one thing, but God is always the final say."
The designer claimed after the event that she wanted to show girls who had been told they could never be models that anyone and everyone can do it. She explained: "I wanted to show not just one type of girl is beautiful. I like to showcase all types of girls, from pageant girls to models in wheelchairs, models with Down syndrome, models who are four feet and told they can never be a model. They are my ‘it’ girls."
Since the show took place, Marian has reportedly been making waves in the industry, with leading magazines and designers requesting meetings with her.
"She's been a busy supermodel, meeting with all types of people,' White told the Associated Press. "I'm very glad for her. She's been meeting with Vogue. She's been meeting with Harper's Bazaar. She's been meeting in different showrooms, different modelling agencies."
Congratulations, Marian and Tae, you both smashed it!