Fashion Week

Meet the NYFW model with a bionic arm

Posted by
Anna Pollitt
Published

Rebekah Marine was told that she'd never be a model because she was born without a right forearm - now she's set to hit the runway at New York Fashion Week. 

The 28-year-old, who describes herself as a “bionic model” made her NYFW debut for FTL Moda in February and will walk for the designers again on September 13.

She had her high-tech prosthetic hand fitted six years ago and credits the cutting-edge technology with giving her the confidence to pursue a modelling career.

February's NYFW shows were defined by disability diversity firsts, including a model with Down's syndrome and a runway star with the skin condition vitiligo.

Thankfully, this increasingly inclusive attitude appears to be more than a passing trend.

Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old model with Down's syndrome, will appear at NYFW this month, while modelling agency IMG recently announced that it has signed Jillian Mercado, a 28-year-old American model with spastic muscular dystrophy.

Marine told Mashable: “It's so important to include more diverse models, because after all, nearly one in five people in America have a disability. We should be celebrating uniqueness, not conforming to what the media thinks is beautiful.”

While her career has blossomed since her first booking on a bridal photo shoot, she says that most agencies still “won't even look at her portfolio”.

Hopefully that will change if the fashion industry continues to embrace disability.

Share this article

Author

Anna Pollitt

Anna is a freelance writer and editor who’s been making her dime from online since 2007. She’s a regular at Stylist.co.uk, ITV News and Emerald Street and moonlights as a copywriter and digital content consultant. The baby is borrowed.

Other people read

More from Fashion Week

More from Anna Pollitt