As a devoted fan of American Horror Story, I was especially excited to hear that one of my favorite actors from the show, Jamie Brewer, is going to be the first model with Down syndrome to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week.
Later today, Brewer will model a design from Carrie Hammer, who is most known for for featuring women who don't look like our traditional idea of a supermodel in her shows — in a campaign called "Role Models Not Runway Models."
"Young girls and even young women...[see me] and say 'hey, if she can do it so can I,'" Brewer told Today. "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 she really is an exceptional role model. Aside from her acting career, Brewer is incredibly active in the Down Syndrome community, having served on the State of Texas ARC Board, the ARC Governmental Affairs Committee for the State of Texas, and being involved in multiple non-profits, including the National Down Syndrome Congress and American Association of People with Disabilities of the United States.
Hammer wanted to represent the women who bought her designs and realized that featuring her clients — independent businesswomen, global activists, groundbreaking researchers and journalists — would do just the trick.
"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," said Hammer. "It was never intended to be this incredible statement."
But it really was. Hammer received an outpouring of thank you emails. There was one that stood out to her in particular, though. It was from Katie Driscoll, co-founder of Changing the Face of Beauty, a non-profit that encourages the media to include people with disabilities. After thanking her profusely, Driscoll asked Hammer if she could include someone who looks like her daughter, Grace — who has Down syndrome — in the fashion show.
And Brewer, an accomplished actress and activist, was a no-brainer.
"It's amazing, it's really neat," she said. "Many women have many sides to their personality, this dress fits...mine. I am honored to be in it."
We're hoping to see her sassy side — something reminiscent of her character Nan from Coven — strut down that runway.
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