( ENSPIRE NEWS ) Model with Down Syndrome Madeline Stuart makes her New York Fashion Week runway debut
This teen is one super model.
Madeline Stuart – who has Down Syndrome and a leaky heart valve – made her runway debut at New York Fashion Week on Sunday night with a glittering, body-painted male model on each arm. Not too shabby. The 18-year-old Australian – who goes by the nickname Maddy – conquered the catwalk at Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall as part of the FTL Moda presentation of international designers.
The audience applauded as the petite redhead strut in three looks, including a pair of sequined hot pants and a flowing watercolor halter draped over a bandeau top, as well as a white off-the-shoulder floral applique gown with a long, cascading train.
But the crowd roared when young Maddy did a final lap wearing a black t-shirt emblazoned with “I Am NYFW” on the back. She then pulled her mother Rosanne Stuart up on the runway with her, and gave her mom a hug and kiss.
“It was fun,” Maddy told the News after the show. “I feel good!”
Her mom (and manager) was grinning from ear-to-ear, as well.
“She’s fine. There are just too many cameras,” said Stuart. “When she feels overwhelmed, that’s when I go into protective mum mode.”
But Maddy was raring to go by showtime, hugging the producers backstage and high-fiving the other models. Of course, her mother sat in the front row just in case she needed to step in.
She needn’t have worried. Madeline handled her first runway show like a pro.
“She’s been so excited. She didn’t sleep at all last night!” said Stuart.
Maddy should have no trouble getting her beauty sleep after putting in a 12-hour day for her runway debut just two days after a 28-hour trek from Australia to New York.
“I just want to go to sleep,” she admitted after the show, staring shyly at the floor.
She’s earned it.