Damian Graybelle, co-founder of fashion company everMaya, first saw 18-year-old model Madeline Stuart through social media.
The teen with down syndrome had gone viral after changing up her lifestyle, and losing 44 pounds, to pursue a modeling career — and became the first globally recognized model with Down syndrome. When Graybelle saw her, he knew he wanted her to model for his company. He remembers thinking that girl is beautiful.
"When I saw Madeline I didn't see disability, I saw ability," he told A Plus.
So the two teamed up and this week everMaya announced that Stuart will be the face of its latest campaign. The company shipped over purses from its Rochester, N.Y., headquarters to Brisbane, Australia, where Stuart lives and shot the spread there.
Graybelle says he wanted Madeline to be the spokesmodel because she represents what the brand is all about: making a difference in peoples' lives. The reason why is because Madeline has persevered even when people told her it could never happen.
As she states on her Facebook page, she's "changing society's perceptions of beauty — one photo shoot at a time."
Aside from this campaign, Stuart and everMaya are planning to shoot more photos in New York City at the end of the summer.
See more of Madeline's fashion spread!