A 10-month-old girl from Miami will be the face of an entire swimwear campaign from Spanish designer Dolores Cotrés, which is not only awesome for her, but also for the other models with Down syndrome currently making their way into national ad campaigns. Little Valentina Guerrero will be on the cover of Dolores Cortés' U.S. catalogue and star in the designer's 2013 DC Kids ads.
Earlier this year, a boy with Down syndrome was featured in a Target ad, which, since big-box stores emphasize their egalitarian, inclusive nature, wasn't necessarily a risky or bold choice. A high-end retailer or premiere designer had yet to take the same leap until Valentina, who will be the first person with Down syndrome to be the main model in a fashion campaign from a prestigious designer. In a statement about the decision to feature Valentina, Cortés said, "People with Down syndrome are just as beautiful and deserve the same opportunities. I'm thrilled to have Valentina modeling for us." It's all very smile-inducing and, though product-hawking campaigns are always transparent attempts to establish some consumer good-will, it's pretty easy to appreciate this step towards helping normalize, not just Down syndrome, but any difference that might ordinarily cause a person to be unfairly marginalized.
Image via AdWeek