A teenager with Down’s Syndrome is set to make her catwalk debut at Belfast Fashion Week.
Kate Grant, from Cookstown in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, hit the spotlight when her mother Deirdre posted an image of her on Facebook.
Here, she explained her daughter’s desire to work in the fashion industry adding that she wanted to challenge perceptions of beauty and shine a light on discrimination faced by those with a disability.
“She has the same aspirations as any other girl who wants to be a model,” she wrote.
“Please support her. Just maybe her dreams will come true.”
In a matter of days, the Facebook post had gone viral being shared and liked an incredible 19,000 times.
“I want everyone to get behind me and challenge local women to have Kate, who dreams to be a model, as a front cover,” her mother added.
“Every door was closed in her face because she has Down’s Syndrome.”
An industry in which disabilities of all types remain largely absent, 19-year-old Kate says that she has been inspired by the Australian model Madeline Stuart who has walked at New York Fashion Week and has her own fashion label.
“I want to be everywhere, all over the world, because I am brilliant. I want everyone to see me and I’ll hold my head high,” she said speaking on BBC’s Talkback programme.
Now, it seems Grant’s dreams really are about to come true as modelling agent Cathy Martin has offered the aspiring model a place on the catwalk at Belfast Fashion Week after being moved by the Facebook post.
“It’s amazing how passionate she is about modelling”, Martin said.
“Fashion Week starts on 26 October and we will have Kate taking part on 27 October in our high street show.”
The modelling agent added that Grant is guaranteed to get the biggest cheer when she appears on the catwalk.