Australian Model With Down Syndrome Debuts On The Catwalk, Wants To Show ‘How Beautiful I Am’

We are all beautiful in a unique way. However, we are somehow not prepared to adapt to changes. In the fashion industry, changes happen even slower. The same kinds of models crop up over and over again.

They have the same skin type, same complexion, same hairstyles, and same body type. But is there room for diversity?

Apparently, there is!

The aim to reveal her beauty to the rest of the world convinced the 24-year-old girl with Down’s Syndrome from New South Wales, Australia, Katie Harris, to do her very first solo stroll down the catwalk in Sydney.

The girl was coached by 2018 Miss Planet Australia Krysta Heath, and explained that her runway debut was a way for her to “show the world just how beautiful I am.”

Katie has always dreamed of walking down the runway as a model, and she didn’t let society hold her back.

Soon after she told her mother that she wanted to become a model, a pair of teens from Bega Valley, along the southeastern shore of NSW decided to hold their own show and raise disability awareness in modeling.

The Disability Trust NSW jumped on board, and Katie was chosen, together with 18 other models, for the show.

The idea for the fashion show was by Amy De’Friskbom, who said it was “the best feeling in the world” to watch the 19 models on the catwalk.

Katie said:

“I am beautiful from the inside and outside and I want to become a model so people can really see who I am.”

Everyone seemed to adore her at the first runway show, and Heath said:

“As soon as she did her first solo walk the whole crowd got up and started cheering for her and calling out her name. In Katie’s words, she just owned it.”

The confident young lady spoke of her dream of following in the footsteps of Madeline Stuart, another Australian-based model with Down’s syndrome who has gained international recognition. She has walked 120 different runway shows around the world so far, has her own fashion label, and has started her own dance studio for people with disabilities.

Harris does not let her Down syndrome stop her, and people praise her for her authenticity while on the runway. Her coach Heath claims that it is what attracts in the fashion industry, as people who are watching fashion shows can “smell a fake a mile away.”

As the mother of Madeline Stuart explained:

“What they have in their heart they show outwardly, which is something we could all learn. Madeline] doesn’t look at age or weight or any of that; what she sees is someone’s heart and how someone treats her.

Everyone feels comfortable around her because they can see she is pure and just wants to love them and be friends with them.”

De’Friskbom explained that after the successful local event, she believes the idea could “explode”:

“It would be a good way to show everyone is the same, no matter what they look like.”