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Madeline Stuart returns to FTL Moda runway at New York Fashion Week

Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old Australian model with Down

Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old Australian model with Down syndrome, returns to the runway at New York Fashion Week. Photo Credit: Erica A. Nichols Photography/@ericanichols_

After launching her modeling career last year, Madeline Stuart has been busy at runway shows and photo shoots. This week will be no different, as she walks the FTL Moda show at New York Fashion Week on Monday, Feb. 15.

Stuart, an 18-year-old from Brisbane, Australia, has Down syndrome. She made her New York Fashion Week debut in September 2015.

“So we are off, NYFW here we come. So excited to be walking again and catching up with fantastic friends. Can’t believe in less than 24 hrs I may be in the snow,” she wrote on Facebook Wednesday.

Stuart is the first professional adult model with Down syndrome, according to her website.

“I hope through modeling I can change societies view of people with disabilities, exposure to creating awareness, acceptance and inclusion,” Stuart’s Facebook page says.

Stuart struggled with her weight for a long time, as many people with Down syndrome do, according to her website. Last year, she took steps toward a healthy lifestyle and began chasing her dreams as a model.

In August 2015, Stuart shared a photo to Instagram announcing her contract with FTL MODA, a company that's known for its futuristic Italian runway designs.

Stuart will walk the runway for the brand again next week.

“We can’t wait for you girls!” FTL MODA wrote on Facebook on Friday, Jan. 29, sharing a photo of Stuart and model Rebekah Marine.

Since Stuart’s first New York Fashion Week appearance, magazines and news organizations have picked up her story, and she has had modeling gigs across the world. She’s followed by 566,830 people on Facebook and more than 115,000 fans on Instagram.

“It's so refreshing and uplifting to see this instead of a bunch of anorexic or surgically-enhanced Barbie dolls strutting around. These are real people,” Tokaia Case wrote on Stuart’s Facebook page.

“Trending on the right again! I hope you have a blast & knock them dead!!!” Sarah Cunningham Lovett said on Facebook.

The FTL Moda runway show will take place at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in Manhattan. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for red carpet. The show starts at 6:30 p.m.


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