When thinking about the term ‘role model’, look to Kate Grant as the perfect example.
The 23-year-old Tyrone native made history as the first model with Down syndrome to be signed to a modelling agency in Northern Ireland, after she recently inked a deal with ACA Models.
Audiences were first introduced to Grant in 2018, following an appearance on the BBC Two documentary Role Model which followed her journey into modelling.
At just 19-years-old, Grant competed in and won the Ultimate Beauty of the World beauty pageant. Since her win, Grant has walked the runway at London Fashion Week, spoken multiple times at the UN about her experience and worked as a brand ambassador for Benefit Cosmetics.
Grant has proven that a ‘can-do’ attitude will bring you success. She recently spoke to Evoke.ie about the message she wants to send to people with disabilities, commenting: “Ability or disability, if you have a passion to do something just give it a go and work to your full potential. Believe in yourself [and] work hard to make your dream come true.”
She also hopes that her successful career will show parents that their children’s disabilities do not have to prevent them from achieving their own goals.
“… if I can inspire parents and society that our disability doesn’t define us, we are much more and can contribute so much to society. Just watch this space.”
Grant’s mother, Deirdre Grant, recently spoke to Belfast Live about her daughter’s success, praising her determination to manifest real change in the industry.
“Kate’s tenacity has campaigned for diversity and inclusion within the fashion industry. Slowly it has begun to transform visibly,” her mother said.
“I’m really so delighted that companies now are seeing the potential of people with diversity. This realisation needs to become normalised with leaderships and decision-makers.
“The likes of Kate showed what people can do and not what they can’t do,” Deirdre concluded. “That is the key.”