Kit Steinkellner
February 12, 2015 10:13 am

Today, Jamie Brewer made history as the first model with Down Syndrome to walk the New York Fashion Week runway. Brewer’s gorgeous catwalk debut marked a major step for the fashion industry, in expanding and diversifying notoriously narrow representations of women. Basically, Brewer is our fashion hero.

Brewer is familiar to all us American Horror Story fans out there, playing Addie Langdon in AHS: Murder House (making the line “You’re going to die in there” one of the awesomest lines in a series chock full of awesome lines), Nan in AHS: Coven, and Marjorie in AHS: Freak Show. And now Brewer took catwalk by storm, modeling a dress by Carrie Hammer as a part of the designer’s “Role Models Not Runway Models” campaign.

“I called up my existing clients who were all incredible women and one of them happened to be a doctor and a sex therapist who happened to be in wheelchair,” Hammer told Today,com. “It was never intended to be this incredible statement.” (Here’s a list of ALL the amazing women in today’s show)

Hammer decided she wanted to include a model with Down Syndrome in her lineup after receiving an e-mail from Katie Driscoll, co-founder of Changing the Face of Beauty, a nonprofit that encourages media to feature people with disabilities, and the mother of a young girl named Grace, who also has Down Syndrome.

“Thank you for being the change that is long overdue,” Driscoll wrote in her e-mail to Hammer. “I could literally cry every time I read an article talking about your decision to include a model who just happens to have a disability! YOU are what this world needed!”

After talking with Driscoll, Hammer realized how groundbreaking and important it would be to have a model with Down Syndrome be a part of the project, and the two agreed that a role model like Jamie Brewer helps girls like Grace recognize their amazing potential.

Brewer was so excited to play both the parts of runway model and role model:

“Young girls and even young women…[see me] and say ‘hey, if she can do it so can I,'” Brewer told Today.com. “It’s a true inspiration being a role model for any young women to [encourage them] in being who they are and showing who they are.”

And what about the dress? (Because we ALL want to hear about the dress!!!) She rocked a black A-line belted dress like the gorgeous lady she is. Brewer said it suited her.

“Many women have many sides to their personality, this dress fits mine,” she said. “I am honored to be in it.”

Before the show, Brewer tweeted from backstage, sharing photos of her Fashion Week preparations.

 

Huge props to Brewer for once again breaking boundaries and inspiring all of us.

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