Model with Down syndrome makes her mark in Marie Claire

A 21-year-old British model with Down syndrome is challenging modeling norms, making a name for herself at home and abroad.

Her latest feat? Appearing in Marie Claire Russia.

Kathleen Humberstone is among four women with disabilities the publication highlights in a recent article. According to a rough translation, the feature says that all four women “never stopped following their dreams … and managed to achieve success.”

Born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to an English father and French mother, Humberstone always had dreams of becoming a model, the magazine notes. Yet, opportunities were limited — modeling agencies reportedly hesitated because they didn’t feel comfortable hiring models with Down syndrome.

Still, Humberstone, with the support of her family, persisted. When Humberstone turned 17, her mother found Zebedee Management, a modeling agency that was — according to its website — “created to increase the representation of people who have until now been excluded in the media.”

Since then, the model and activist has appeared in runway shows for River Island and Tommy Hilfiger. She has also worked closely with the Russian charity Naked Heart Foundation on the Fabulous Fund Fair — a fundraising gala where models connect with industry representatives. In 2017, Humberstone even had the opportunity to speak out against discrimination toward people with disabilities at a United Nations conference in Geneva.

The model’s hope is that, one day, she’ll soon be able to walk runways in Paris and New York, she once told the BBC.

To learn more about Humberstone, watch the video above.

If you enjoyed this story, check out this article on how Zach and Pat are showing TikTok what it’s like to live with Down syndrome.

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