Being able to walk is not a requirement for these models to make their runway debut.
During an Atlanta fashion show over the weekend, models with special needs and disabilities strutted down the catwalk, all in the name of inclusivity.
“I’m going to walk through the runway until we get it right,” said model Sharae Lewis, 27, who has Down syndrome.
Included in the list of models are a blind saxophone player and several women in wheelchairs.
The event was organized by designer Sharon Gary-Dill of Fashion by D’Shacourt in collaboration with other local brands.
Gary-Dill told WGCL that she began including people with disabilities on her list of models about four years ago.
“I want people to know that these people are special,” she explained. “There’s no reason to make fun of them and there’s no reason to be afraid of them.”
Gary-Dill was inspired by her friend’s daughter, Sierra Stanley, who has cerebral palsy.
“I love my daughter to look great,” her mom Norma Stanley told WGCL. “I said, ‘Can she be in one of your shows?’ and she said, ‘I would love that. Let’s get some more models that look like Sierra.'"