Bernadette Hagans is a cancer survivor, amputee and the new face of a major fashion campaign

Bernadette Hagans is the new face of the designer fashion brand Kurt Geiger

Hagans is a cancer survivor and an amputee. The 24-year-old was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma and had her right leg amputated in 2018. But that didn’t stop her from pursuing her love of fashion and modeling. 

“I got to experience life with two legs and now I get to experience it with one,” Hagans said according to the Express Tribune. “Yes, I got cancer but I was being given a chance to live. Some people just get told they’re terminal. I just kept trying to remember how lucky I am and I think that’s what got me through it.”

Hagans is represented by Zebedee Management in London, an agency for models with disabilities. She has already snagged a gig with Primark and now she is front and center in Kurt Geiger’s latest series of ads.

“It’s great when people like me get shown, because it doesn’t happen too often,” Hagans said according to the Belfast Telegraph. “I think it can show that different can look good and that you can make the most of whatever sets you apart from the crowd.”

Geiger’s People Empowered campaign will feature 15 activists and organization leaders. Hagans is the first to appear on the designer’s Instagram. 

In the photo, she rocks a baggy hoodie with the brand’s crystal Lyon sneaker, a chunky pair of black kicks and Geiger’s hot pink mini Kensington handbag. You’ll notice Hagan’s prosthetic leg is prominently featured in the ads — that’s because she considers it a part of her aesthetic as a model.

Hagans regularly changes the color of her prosthetic leg. As of late, it’s a bright, sunny yellow. She uses a car wrapping service to get the job done. 

“I said to them: ‘If you can wrap a car, do you want to have a go at wrapping a prosthetic leg?'” she said. “I’ve been changing the color constantly ever since. Now there are people going into my hospital saying: ‘That girl with the colored leg — how do we get a leg like that? They’ve put them in touch with the same company and they’ve started wrapping legs for other people.”

If you liked this story, check out In The Know’s article on Paralympic athletes participate in an amputee fashion show.

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