2015 has changed the modelling industry,and considering it’s only the middle of February this is a pretty big deal.
January saw a first for plus size models, US model Tess Munster, who is a US size 22, signed with MiLK Model Management to become the first model above a size 16 to be taken on by a major modelling agency.
This month, the modelling industry changed yet again as the creator of the “fashionable professional wardrobe” Carrie Hammer sent the first model with Down syndrome down the catwalk.
Jamie Brewer first came into the spotlight when she was cast as Adelaide “Addie” Langdon in the first season of American Horror Story, Murder House. Jamie was so loved as a character she returned as Nan in Coven (the third season) and even made an appearance in Southland. As well as being a successful actress, Brewer is a disability activist, by walking for Carrie Hammer, Jamie raised awareness, not only for, Down syndrome but also raising awareness for people with other disabilities.
This is not the first time Hammer has used a model that did not conform to the usual standards. In her debut catwalk Role Models Not Runway Models, Carrie used powerhouse women from CEOs and entrepreneurs to the first wheelchair model, Dr Danielle Sheypuk.
From seeing her debut catwalk Karen Crespo, a quadruple amputee, emailed Hammer saying how moved she was at the notion of having real women and women with disabilities on the catwalk. Having lost her limbs to bacterial meningitis, Karen hoped one day she could show the world “Why can’t people with disabilities, people like me, be beautiful and model.” After hearing that her $100,000 prosthetic limbs were stolen from her, Hammer paid for Crespo to have them replaced and asked her to participate in her next show.
The business-wear designer is not the only brand to use women wheelchair-bound in their campaigns. Diesel’s spring/summer 2014 campaign fronted Jillian Mercado,who relies on a wheelchair for mobility.