By Rebecca Jarrett
30-year-old actress Jamie Brewer made runway history at New York’s Fashion Week.
On February 12, 2015, American Horror Story actress Jamie Brewer became the first woman with down syndrome to walk in Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week.
Fashion designer Carrie Hammer featured Brewer in her runway show, along with several other everyday women. Hammer’s ongoing campaign “Role Models not Runway Models” illustrates several ordinary women with extraordinary careers. “We feature incredible influential women on the runaway. CEOs, executives, activist, actresses, anyone who is the top of the field, top of their game,” Hammer said.
Being the first runway show of its kind, Hammer’s Fashion Week display was a success. “Putting on this show is really exciting for me because it’s redefining the type of model we use on the runway and the type of model women should look up to,” Hammer said.
This campaign changes the perspective on runway models. By featuring everyday women with successful careers, young women can strive for an outstanding job rather than an outstanding body.
Co-Founder of the organization “Changing the Face of Beauty,” Katie Driscoll, has a young daughter born with Down syndrome named Grace. Driscoll reached out to Hammer asking her to include a role model for her daughter.
Brewer was the perfect fit.
Brewer played a witch on American Horror Story so Hammer put her in a custom-made black dress with an A-line cut inspired by her role on the hit TV show.
In addition to Brewer, several other real women were included in this show. Hammer called many of her existing clients who were all ordinary women. “This runway show will change the fashion industry forever,” said Immaculate Heart Academy freshman, Maggie Cooney.
From TV to runway, Jamie Brewer has become a role model for many young women. This first-of-its-kind runway show has changed the game for the fashion and modeling industry forever.
“I think it’s expanding the definition of beauty from purely skin deep towards passion, purpose and accomplishments,” Hammer said.