Madeline Stuart has a zest for Life and a passion for modeling. She also has Down syndrome. The teenager landed a big modeling contract earlier this year after her mother helped her pursue her dream of walking the runway. This week, her new career became larger-than-life, as Madeline appeared at New York Fashion Week.
Madeline is the second model with Down syndrome to ever appear on a runway of NYFW’s caliber. Spring Fashion Week set a precedent, when actress with Down syndrome Jamie Brewer broke into the world of stick-thin bodies and sallow expressions to model another ideal of beauty: a genuine beauty and je ne sais quoi that saturate her spirit and exude from the inside-out. Madeline shares this enviable trait, and, along with Brewer, she is a breath of fresh air in the fashion world.
A year ago, Madeline told her mom she wanted to be a model. Her mom helped her to realize her dream. Recently, she spoke to the U.K.’s The Independent about her daughter’s desire to become a model, saying: “I saw no reason at all why she shouldn’t pursue that. Down Syndrome didn’t preclude her from being ambitious, limelight-loving and – of course – beautiful.”