River Island hires child models with disabilities for their new campaign

Fashion is finally embracing diversity. Or at least, heading towards it. Diversity campaigns often feature adults of different shapes and sizes but rarely is it extended to child models.

When it comes to children’s clothing, we don’t always see a different mix of people advertising the items. Even when retailers do employ underrepresented groups, they’re usually able-bodied. River Island has just launched their take on diverse advertising by hiring a bunch of adorable child models, all of whom have a disability.

The children, who come from across the UK, are aged between three and 10 and have been diagnosed with conditions including Down’s Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and eyesight issues. And they make for some pretty excellent models. The high street chain started the campaign as they go all out for their 30th anniversary.

All the models are represented by Zebedee Management, who specialise in working with clients with disabilities. Meet the new faces of River Island’s kid’s clothing.

Cora Bishop, six, from Wrexham in North Wales, who has Down’s Syndrome, tried to make everyone laugh on the set. Her proud mother, Sheryl Bishop, said: ‘She’s a very girly girl and loved dressing up for the shoot’.

Teddy Berriman is a five-year-old who’s fought more battles than most. He has cerebral palsy which affects all four of his limbs, is partially sighted, and has epilepsy, using a frame or wheelchair to move around. Mother Nicola Short said: ‘Teddy loved the shoot and it gave him such a boost to be able to do things which normal children do… It’s lovely to show his disability is not a label, he is a person. He has been beaming ever since and showing people his photos’.

 

Lois Groom, 10, from Ware, Hertfordshire, was born with rare 18q deletion syndrome, which affects just one in 40,000 children. She was deaf when she was born, but now has hearing implants and is also hyper mobile, which means she tires easily. Lois also has learning difficulties and delayed speech. Mother Dawn said: ‘I’m so proud of Lois. She absolutely loves being in front of the camera and is a real natural’.

Four-year-old Gabriel Sohota, from Huddersfield, has Down’s Syndrome and enjoyed his first job. Mother Rebecca said: ‘He is so full of life and loves making people smile. It shows he is capable of achieving anything any other child can do. ‘He has always liked social interaction and is an extrovert, which really helps in front of the camera.’

 

Source – The Metro News Paper

 

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