South American model with Downs syndrome walks New York Fashion Week catwalk

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Walked the catwalk at NY fashion week. Credit: Twitter

IN conjunction with World Birth Defect Day we are reminded of a recent story of Puerto Rican Sofia Jirau, a model with Down syndrome, who fulfilled a dream she had since childhood while flying the flag for inclusivity by walking the runway at New York Fashion Week.
The ambitious 22-year-old now hopes to further her modelling career and continue to dispel misconceptions about what she and others with Down syndrome are able to achieve.
The stunning model posted a video from her runway show on Instagram, captioned: “One day I looked in the mirror and said, ‘I’m going to be a model and I’m going to get to New York,’ and look, here I am.”
Sofia’s supportive family accompanied the model to New York City all the way from Puerto Rico to cheer her on during her much-anticipated moment in the spotlight.
“When I was little, I looked myself in the mirror and said, ‘I’m going to be a model and a businesswoman,’” Sofia told People from back home in Puerto Rico. “I felt really good the first time. Everyone clapped for me.”
In addition to furthering her modelling career, Sofia hopes to become a successful businesswoman with her own clothing brand, Alavett, a take on the unique way that Sofia likes to say “I love it.”
“Sofia’s desire is not only to be recognized as a professional,” the model’s bio explains, “[it] is also tied to her genuine desire to be an inspiration for those born with [an extra] chromosome, like her.”
Those with Down syndrome are historically underrepresented in the fashion industry and Sofia’s runway show marks a crucial milestone for inclusivity.
“Inside and out, there are no limits,” up-and-coming model Sofia added, “Everyone can accomplish their dreams.”

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