Australian Madeline “Maddy” Stuart continues to change the face of the modeling game.
After landing her first modeling campaign with body-positive athletic brand Manifesta several weeks ago, the 18-year-old with Down syndrome already has two more gigs lined up.
Stuart will model for everMaya, a Rochester, New York-based lifestyle brand that features brightly colored bags. She has also signed on to become the face of new makeup brand GlossyGirl, based in Los Angeles.
“She is an inspiration to us all,” everMaya wrote on their website. “We are so very fortunate to have her as part of the everMaya team!”
Damian Graybelle, co-founder of everMaya, first heard about Stuart on Facebook before contacting her to model the “Huipil” handbag, one of his designs.
“Madeline has external beauty—Down syndrome or not,” Graybelle told TODAY.com. “But secondly, she captures inner beauty, which is something the everMaya brand is all about.”
“She is so inspiring, and she epitomizes all those ideals about what real beauty is, not superficial beauty, real beauty that is more than skin-deep,” Graybelle continued. “The fact that she happens to be gorgeous is just a plus.”
EverMaya donates 5 percent of profits to help cover basic and educational needs for children in Guatemala, where the bags are handmade.
“We’re trying to do something unique and different,” Graybelle told The Mighty. “We want to make people feel good about the products they’re using, and having Madeline represent the brand just reinforces that good feeling.”
Last week, Stuart told The Daily Signal that she realized she wanted to be a model while at a fashion show last July.
Over the next year she lost roughly 40 pounds through an increasingly active lifestyle. She documented the entire journey on social media and quickly amassed a following. Retail brands took note.
“I was told to expect her never to grow past an 8 or 9-year-old, and that she would never achieve anything,” Stuart’s mother and manager, Rosanne, told Brisbane’s lifestyle news source BMag.
Clearly, Stuart is not letting her disability dictate her life.