Kayla Kosmalski is on her way to Florida to walk in the clothing company Gap‘s first show that features models with Down syndrome.

The Gap fashion show will take place today at a Gap store in Miami. And for the first time, models with disabilities will be walking down the runway.

One of those featured models is 9 year-old Kayla Kosmalski, who has Down Syndrome. She landed the gig after seeing a post on Changing the Face of Beauty’s Facebook page – a creative movement to encourage the integration of models with disabilities in the media and advertising.

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“I am just ecstatic for this opportunity for Kayla,” her mother Amy Kosmalski  said. “The campaign is just incredible. It’s showing the world that our kids are more alike than different and they deserve the same opportunities as the other kids do. Yes, Kayla has Down syndrome, but she’s smart and funny and sassy like all other kids.”

Changing the Face of beauty has put 14 girls of all abilities in touch with the Gap campaign, three of whom (including Kayla) have Down syndrome. There is also a girl with a limb difference named Fern and a girl named Charlize who has a chromosome abnormality. They will walk the runway at two times on Saturday.

“We could not be more thrilled to be a part of this,” Katie Driscoll, co-founder of Changing the Face of Beauty, told The Mighty in an email. “The opportunity to participate in a event like this is a huge win for our organization as well as these girls who happen to have disabilities and the girls who do not have a disability. Our message is simple: Kids are kids regardless of their ability, and they look great when given the opportunity to be featured together. This gives us the opportunity to really show the world what is possible when all kids are represented in advertising.”

 

Katie Driscoll, co-founder of Changing the Face of Beauty, said:

“Our message is simple: Kids are kids regardless of their ability, and they look great when given the opportunity to be featured together. This gives us the opportunity to really show the world what is possible when all kids are represented in advertising.”

Kosmalski added that Kayla’s favorite parts about modeling are waving, blowing kisses and “rocking the stage.”

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Brent Lindeque
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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