Altruistic Trend: Paralyzed Girl and Actress with Down Syndrome Grace the New York Fashion Week Catwalk

The New York Fashion Week is among the Big 4 most anticipated events in the fashion industry’s calendar, along with Paris, London and Milan. Occurring every February and September of each year, the much anticipated event draws over a hundred thousand people, with the elite of every possible industry in attendance. Normally, it is the clothing, the inspired collections and the celebrities which make the headlines. This time around, disadvantaged individuals grace the catwalk of the New York Fashion Week, exhibiting the altruism which exists in the fashion industry as well as a statement of goodwill.

Last Week, Jamie Brewer, an actress known for her role in the popular US TV series American Horror Story graced the catwalks courtesy of Carrie Hammer. Hammer launched her project, entitled Role Models Not Runway Models, in 2014 with the idea of showcasing a slew of inspiring women to showcase her work. Through the same campaign, Hammer features incredible and influential women to showcase her designs; among them are CEOs, executives, activists, actresses and any women who are on the peak of their careers. With her coaxing, Jamie Brewer becomes the first model with Down syndrome to grace the catwalk.

In another story, a girl from Maryland who is paralyzed from the waist down had her dreams of becoming a fashion model fulfilled last Tuesday. 19-year old Megan Silcott, who has been suffering from a rare neurological disorder known as Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) for the past two years and was diagnosed as a quadriplegic. However, through therapy she was able to regain the use of her upper body. Megan’s dream was to be a fashion model. After hearing of Silcott’s fate, fashion designer, Nina Perdomo contacted her and asked her to model in her show.

Perdomo stated that she designs clothes for women who are strong and who know what they want in life and Megan was a perfect example of that. Furthermore, she wanted to show Megan the world that if you are determined enough then no one can stop you from achieving your dreams.