Imgae By Zebedee Management
The modelling world has a reputation of lacking diversity. In the past, unless individuals were tall, thin and classically attractive, it was difficult to find work. Fast forward to 2019, and everything is rapidly changing. Four years ago, model Madeline Stuart, an Australian model with Down’s syndrome, joined the industry when she started modelling for the brands Manifesta and everMaya.
Recently, another young model with Down’s syndrome gained notoriety after winning the Teen Ultimate Beauty Of The World. The British Model Alliance takes a look at the new found success of the Northern Irish model, Kate Grant, and how she’s changing the modelling industry.
Being crowned the first pageant winner with Down’s syndrome last year was only the beginning for 20-year-old Grant. Following her win, Grant was discovered by Benefit Cosmetics after they came across a Facebook video of hers discussing her modelling goals.
The make-up company featured Grant on their Instagram modelling a new roller liner, a post reaching over 4,000 likes. The campaign soon went viral with individuals across the world hailing the young model as an ‘inspiration’ and praising Benefit Cosmetics for promoting inclusivity.
‘We’re truly honoured that Kate was able to join us, and we hope her involvement goes someway to showing that beauty and make-up shots can absolutely feature from all walks of life. The beauty industry is changing and we love that people like Kate are leading the way,” said Femail, a Benefit Cosmetics representative. The cosmetics giant has also stated that they have plans of working with Grant in the future.
The beauty queen can also add Debenhams to her CV. During Belfast’s 2017 Fashionweek, she walked the catwalk and quickly became the first model with Down’s syndrome in the event’s history to do so. Grant received a standing ovation during her runway walk in which she wore a Debenham’s little black dress.
Grant is only one of the recent successes hitting the fashion world at full speed. As the inclusion of models with disabilities continues growing, so do the number of agents representing them. Modelling agencies everywhere are now looking for individuals who may have previously been overlooked due to their disabilities. While some agencies have broadened the modelling categories they represent, others solely focus on this category. Zebedee Management remains one agency who prides itself on signing a diverse range of models, actors and performers diagnosed with different disabilities.
So what’s next? While the British Model Alliance can not say for certain where these inspirational models, such as Kate Grant, will take the industry, we can definitely say that change is coming, and it’s looking diverse!