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Madeline Stuart, an Australian model with Down Syndrome, presents a creation from the Hendrik Vermeulen label during the FTL Moda presentation of the Spring/Summer 2016 collection during New York Fashion Week in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station
Andrew Kelly—Reuters

Model With Down Syndrome Treads the Catwalk in New York

Updated: Sep 27, 2015 7:00 PM ET | Originally published: Sep 14, 2015

Correction appended, September 27, 2015

Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old model with Down Syndrome, made her debut on the New York Fashion Week runway Sunday.

The redheaded teen from Brisbane, Australia showed off styles in a show at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal hosted by label FTL Moda with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Global Disability Inclusion.

She told the New York Daily News, "It was fun," but admitted she was exhausted and just wanted to "go to sleep."

Stuart isn't the first model with Down Syndrome to walk the runway; actress Jamie Brewer from American Horror Story appeared in February's New York Fashion Week during the "Role Models Not Runway Models" show organized by designer Carrie Hammer.

The teenager's mother Rosanne credits social media for helping pave the way for Madeline's Fashion Week debut. As she told AFP, "Social media has brought everything to the forefront. Things aren't hidden anymore."

Hendrik Vermeulen - Runway - Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week(L-R) Models Jesse Pattison, Madeline Stuart and Ben Pulchinski walk the runway at Hendrik Vermeulen show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal on September 13, 2015 in New York City.  Chance Yeh—Getty Images 
Madeline Stuart, an Australian model with Down Syndrome, presents a creation from the Hendrik Vermeulen label during the FTL Moda presentation of the Spring/Summer 2016 collection during New York Fashion Week in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station Andrew Kelly—Reuters 
Hendrik Vermeulen - Runway - Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week Chance Yeh—Getty Images 

Correction: The original version of this story misstated a sponsor of the event. It was Global Disability Inclusion.

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