Opinion and Editorial

First Model with Down Syndrome to Walk at New York Fashion Week

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You may have seen her before on “American Horror Story,” but you’ve never seen her like this! Jamie Brewer, age 30, known for her part as a witch in AHS just became the first model with Down Syndrome to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week on Thursday, Feb. 12.

Along with being an actress in the well-known series AHS, Brewer is also a writer and an artist. Before her television acting career took off she began theatre classes in 1999 at a ‘College for Kids.’ Her job did not stop when they stopped filming, and she has been continuing her training at ‘The Groundlings Theatre and School.’

Brewer strutted her stuff wearing a dress by Carrie Hammer who dedicated her show to being full of role models, not runway models. To go along with her witch character in AHS, Hammer had Brewer wear a black dress, which complimented her figure with her small waist. After Brewer wore the dress, Hammer said she hopes that Michelle Obama will wear it someday.

When asked about her unconventional choice of models, Hammer told USA TODAY Network, “We feature incredible influential women on the runway. CEOs, executives, activists, actresses, anyone who is the top of the field, at the top of their game.”

Brewer is considered influential because of her time and efforts she puts into nonprofit organizations within the disability community. In her home state, Texas, she helped ban the use of the word “retarded” in legislation replacing it with ‘intellectual developmental disability .’ She has also served on the ARC Governmental Affairs Committee for her home state.

While prepping for her runway walk, Brewer tweeted pictures of herself getting her hair and make-up done. Brewer was actually suggested by the co-founder of Changing the Face of Beauty, Katie Driscoll who has a daughter named Grace with Down Syndrome.

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“I thought she would provide a great role model for Grace. Jamie is amazing… she has light and enthusiasm that is incredible,” Hammer told Time Magazine.

After Hammer included Brewer, Driscoll wrote to Hammer: “Thank you for being the change that is long overdue. 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!”

To go along with being a role model Brewer commented, “Young girls and even young women see me and say, ‘Hey, if she can do it so can I.’ 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.”

Along with Brewer, the first ever model in a wheelchair was also featured during Hammer’s show. Dr. Danielle Sheypuk killed it on the runway, in spite of being in a wheelchair. Hammer also noted that she never defined Sheypuk as a model in a wheelchair, just as a model. Karen Crespo also walked the runway. Crespo lost her limbs due to bacterial meningitis and wished to boost her self-confidence by walking the runway.

After the show, hundreds of e-mails were sent to Hammer thanking them for their time and for the recognition of the importance in inclusion. Hammer’s show was a hit and proved to be an inspiration to many individual’s lacking self-confidence .



Kendyl Galbraith

My names Kendyl. I'm a senior at Bloomsburg University. I am studying Mass Communications with a track in Public Relations. I'm a big supporter of our Bloomsburg Huskies athletics especially basketball and lacrosse!