Next month the world’s first supermodel with Down Syndrome, Madeline Stuart, will walk the local runway which inspired her global career – the Ekka Natural Fibres Fashion Parades presented by Channel Seven. Brisbane resident Madeline attended her first fashion parade with her mum Rosanne at the Ekka in 2014. It was at this Ekka parade that Madeline said to her mother “Mum I want to be a model”.
In the four years since that decision Madeline has walked in over 100 fashion shows across the globe including: New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, Mercedes Fashion Week China, Caspian Fashion Week Russia, and Runway Dubai to name a few. She has also featured in campaigns for Benefit Cosmetics, Diesel, American Eagle and Tommy Hilfiger.
Through her work she has highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion in mainstream media. Madeline has been an essential personality in achieving this significant societal change as one of the most well known and influential faces of diversity, alongside Winnie Harlow and Ashley Graham.
Madeline is also a high profile advocate of the disability community in Australia and overseas. She was nominated for the Pride of Australia and Young Australian of the Year Award in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Internationally Madeline was awarded the Advocacy Award for her work in Uganda from Kulture City in 2017, and received the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award from Global Down Syndrome in 2018.
Madeline continually supports countless charity organisations from Veteran Affairs, Special Olympics, Melange, and Step Up for Downs in America. She works tirelessly with the charities to further spread her message of diversity and inclusion. She is also the founder and ambassador for InsideOutside Dance in Brisbane – a dance school for people with disabilities. InsideOutside Dance will make its first Ekka appearance this year, performing on the Brisbane Airport Community Stage.
Readers also enjoyed our story on Top Model.