Gap casts first model with Down's syndrome for Ellen DeGeneres' kids range

The campaign celebrates diversity and has been praised by Hilary Clinton

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The Independent Online

Nine year old Kayla Kosmalski has become Gap’s first ever model with Down's syndrome.

She is part of Gap's new collaboration with Ellen DeGeneres, called GapKids x ED, and was one of four girls with a disability to take part in a fashion show in Miami to launch the clothing line.

The event has been launched by the non-profit organisation Changing The Face of Beauty, which works to better represent people with disabilities in the media, including the world of fashion.

In a statement, Gap said their project with DeGeneres is aiming to "encourage girls everywhere to be themselves, do what makes them happy and take pride in who they are".

The clothing line has even been praised by Hilary Clinton for avoiding gender stereotypes.

Kosmalski’s mother, Amy, told US site The Mighty why it’s important that modelling rosters are more inclusive and diverse.

"The [Gap] campaign is just incredible. It's showing the world that our kids are more alike than different and they deserve the same opportunities as the other kids do. Yes, Kayla has Down syndrome, but she's smart and funny and sassy like all other kids,” she said.


Kosmalski isn’t alone in making headlines for helping to make the runway more diverse. In September, 18-year-old Madeline Stuart, who also has Down's syndrome, will participate in New York Fashion Week.