(NEW YORK) — As model Jillian Mercado continues to break barriers and advocate for the representation of others with disabilities, her New York Fashion Week debut was an amazing moment that she dedicated to others.
During The Blonds Fall 2020 show, the Latinx beauty, who has muscular dystrophy, shined bright on the runway while wearing a sparkling gold ensemble topped with an elaborate matching headdress.
“This moment was brought to you by … Every single person who has a disability around the world that has felt unseen and unheard,” Mercado said in a post.
Mercado continued: “This moment is brought to you by a young girl looking through magazines — collecting them to the point of basically being a hoarder and watching fashion television while taking notes of how to be the best in the industry — being glamorized by the world of fashion and loving every single moment of what she saw but wondering if she actually belonged.”
Her heartfelt post has been liked more than 24,000 times along with many people cheering her on. Fellow model Ebonee Davis wrote, “Go off empress!!!! You deserve nothing less!!”
“I’ve been through countless wars making sure that this moment was exactly how I imagined through every obstacle you can think of,” said Mercado. “Determination helped me get to this moment and those who believed in me made sure that it was as perfect as I knew I could be.”
She concluded by thanking designers David Blond and Phillipe Blond for giving her the opportunity of a lifetime, which she called a huge milestone.
Mercado has previously been featured in fashion campaigns for Diesel, Nordstrom, Target and more. She signed with IMG Model in 2015.
She also became the first disabled cover star for Teen Vogue’s digital September issue in 2018.
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