“Don’t be fooled by people like me – take risks.”


Ellie Goldstein was just 18 when she made history as the first person with Down syndrome to star in a luxury fashion campaign, but her commitment to a career in fashion came early. She was only five years old when she decided to take up modeling. “I was walking around the living room at home like a cat carrier and my mom said, ‘So you want to be a model?’ And I thought yes, yes I do. Now 21, and with lucrative jobs for Gucci and Adidas, as well as numerous magazine covers, she prides herself on making sure the fashion industry doesn’t ignore disability.

“There’s room for improvement; I’d like to see more models like me – or taller than me!” She laughs. “When I was a kid, I read fashion magazines, but I never saw people who looked like me, and it made me sad. We need more diversity and inclusion in the world. Don’t bash people like me — take risks.”

Growing up, I read fashion magazines, but I didn’t see people who looked like me

For all its inclusion, fashion has not been quick to embrace disability. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15 percent of people have some form of disability, making it the world’s largest minority community. The adaptive-apparel market — apparel designed for people with disabilities, mobility impairments, and chronic illnesses — is estimated to reach $400 billion by 2026, but the industry still isn’t moving fast enough to meet demand. Goldstein is one of the few disabled models to appear in a major campaign or catwalk show.

Beyond the optics, the behind-the-scenes work is similarly slow. Last year, Unhidden became the first adaptive clothing label to join the British Fashion Council. Goldstein likes to remind people with disabilities that they love clothes. Ever since her older sister, Amy, first introduced her to the joys of dressing up, Goldstein had been an anxious woman.

This content comes from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format or find more information on their website.

“I love fashion a billion times,” she insists. “Amy would dress me up and try different makeup on me and I loved it. I also love Marilyn Monroe. She was a very good dancer and looked just like me. I’d say she was taking it easy. “Exactly!” she shouts.

Goldstein was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth, and her family told her she would never talk, walk or live independently, but she defied doctors. As a child, she quickly developed a love of dance and drama and from the age of five began appearing in productions at the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Opera House. Not everyone immediately recognized her potential, and she still had to deal with the assumption that she could not communicate; People talk directly to her mother instead of her. “In elementary school, they didn’t believe in me,” she says. “The teachers treated me like an idiot, but I didn’t let it get to me. I was very talkative and would get in trouble for talking incessantly. You have to be yourself and move on. By the time she was a teenager, she used clothes as a tool to express herself, and shopping became a favorite pastime. “[Clothes] It made me feel confident,” she says. “I like bright colors, pink, yellow… they make me feel happy and bright.”

When she was 15, a family friend saw a TV ad for Zebde Management, an agency that caters to disabled, visibly different, non-binary and trans UK models, and suggested she contact Goldstein’s mother. She did and Ellie immediately signed up. What appeals to you about modeling? “Camera of course!” she says. But also clothes and makeup. Modeling is my way of expressing myself.”

This content comes from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format or find more information on their website.

In the year In 2020, she reached a career milestone where she was the result of an Instagram scout project where she starred in Gucci’s unusual beauty campaign. “It was a wonderful, wonderful day,” she recalls. “The hair, make-up and clothes were great. When I finally saw those pictures, I felt weird because they really showed my personality. To me, you proved that I never give up and why it’s good to follow your dreams.”

She wants to model for Louis Vuitton (“I love their handbags – my sister has one and I always borrow them”) and dreams of more magazine covers. Her latest venture sees her join the ranks. Mother countryAnna Maxwell Martin and former Doctor Jodie Whittaker in Comic Relief’s 2023 Red Nose Day campaign. The images see her and her co-stars modeling charity t-shirts, featuring the characters Mr Men and Little Miss. “I wanted to be on the campaign trail,” she says. “It supports children and adults who need help with mental health – to make sure they’re safe and help them get what they need. Mental health is one of the biggest issues facing young people. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Eli Workstein

Goldstein models the Comic Relief 2023 Red Nose Day campaign, T-shirts available at TK Maxx

Work aside, she is currently studying fine arts at New Town College in Redbridge, Essex, where she is currently working on a musical production of a cult film. Heathers. She also takes hip-hop and modern dance classes and is obsessed with television shows because of the “consciousness, energy and team.” Supernanny. She turned 21 in December and celebrated with a family holiday in Gran Canaria. “We went for walks, went swimming and had lunch and dinner,” she said. “It was a great birthday.”

Ultimately, Goldstein thinks it’s time to reassess how we define beauty. “It’s about who you are,” she says. “My mom, dad, and my dance teacher are all supportive, talented, kind, caring, and loyal people. It’s beautiful.”

Ellie Goldstein is supporting Red Nose Day, wearing a t-shirt from the charity collection, featuring designs from Mr Men and Little Miss, available in TK Maxx stores and online at tkmaxx.com to raise money for Comic Relief.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *