Model With Down Syndrome Shatters Barriers at New York Fashion Week

Spanish model Marian Avila was 21 when she fulfilled her dream of walking at the New York Fashion Week.

She strutted through the ballroom of a Midtown hotel in evening looks of red and gold alongside several other models. These women, however, were unusual models. Each of them had faced challenges in their lives, many of which could have kept them off the fashion walk entirely. Avila, for example, has Down syndrome and would thus not normally be seen as model material. Talisha White, however, felt that was a shame which is why her mission is to break down barriers for women in modeling.

White heard about Avila’s dream through a model who had herself stumbled across Avila’s story online. As White has said she “loves giving girls opportunities to blossom and fulfill their dreams,” Avila was an excellent fit for White’s show. Other models included wheelchair-bound Tae McKenzie of Charlotte, North Carolina, and a young girl who, like Avila, has Down syndrome…