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  • Writer's pictureThe SOF Team

Spotlight on models who are defying the odds and following their dreams

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Three models who are not letting their challenges get in the way of achieving their goals

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The modeling industry is known worldwide for being one of the most cutthroat working environments. However, as society has become more inclusive and accepting, we see more and more models with disabilities.

Sponsors of the Future wants to highlight three models who have defied all the odds against them and significantly impacted the modeling industry.

Aaron Philp - A Wheelchair-Bound Runway Star

Aaron Philip is a key example of why those with challenges should never stop pursuing their dreams. Aaron is 21 years old, transgender, and was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy which leaves her wheelchair-bound. In 2017, she had a Tweet go viral that caused her to be recognized by various modeling agencies, and that is where her career began. Now, Aaron is known as the first model that has ever used a wheelchair to walk for a luxury fashion brand after her appearance in a 2022 Moschino fashion show.

Image source: Who What Wear

According to Aaron, “the fashion industry can be more accessible by taking the steps to prioritize physical accessibility as a core value.” She struggled greatly to succeed in the modeling industry since disabilities are not the typical image for anyone in high fashion. Aaron hopes that these difficulties will become normalized within this industry, so models will not have to go through so many challenges and uncomfortable situations to pursue their passion.

Kelly Knox - A Model Born with One Arm

Kelly Knox was born in London in 1984, but was missing her left forearm. However, she never let that stop her from pursuing her dream career. After entering a “disabled-model search” competition as a child and winning, Kelly is now recognized as one of the most influential people in the United Kingdom.

Image source: Who What Wear

At one point, Kelly was told that she would receive more work as a model if she wore a prosthetic arm. This statement is something that still lives with Kelly, and reminds her that people like her people have been dehumanized this way no matter what career they are in. She claims that she wanted to make a statement to the world and show what it really means to face these difficulties in today's society. To Kelly, this means being beautiful, raw, resilient, and courageous.

Sofía Jirau - the First Victoria’s Secret Model with Down Syndrome

Victoria’s Secret has been known for years for sticking to the same “type” of model for their runway shows, but that is all changing. For the launch of their Love Cloud Collection, Victoria’s Secret gave Sofía her debut as one of their new models, along with 17 other models. This was only months after the brand dropped its “Angels” and highlighted more inclusive models.

Image source: USA Today

Sofía was thrilled to announce this collaboration on her Instagram account. She hopes that her ability to be a Victoria’s Secret model will show others who want to pursue modeling can achieve their goals, they just have to have the drive and put in the hard work.

No matter what challenge someone has, that should not stop them from pursuing the career that they love. Sponsors of the Future hopes to help every child possible follow their passion. Their disability should never limit them from being able to achieve their goals.



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