Jillian Mercado has been making a name for herself in the modeling world, appearing in campaigns for brands like Nordstrom and Target – and at this year’s New York Fashion Week (NYFW), she made her runway debut, reports Yahoo Life Style.
At The Blonds Fall 2020 show, Mercado went down the runway in her electric wheelchair wearing a beautiful sheer dress with gold embellishments with a statement-making gold headpiece. The model, who is Latinx, queer and has muscular dystrophy, shared a photos from her NYFW debut dedicating her achievement to others with disabilities.
“It was the determination of myself and my team pushing designers to imagine a world where everyone was represented,” she said. “With my career, everything that I do, everything that I have done has to be elevated. The reason I do this is because the public is used to seeing one type of image when they imagine somebody with a visible disability on a runway. And I’m all about shattering glass ceilings until there is no glass to shatter.” said Mercado
The model said that during her first NYFW runway experience she felt like she was finally being heard.
“I felt like I belonged,” she said. “There is nothing different or special about it, we were all models doing our job. I would say probably the only special thing about it would be [that] I was representing the disability community and that’s pretty special to me and to many others that just want to be respected and heard.”