all images via Huffington Post, 22 Words and Diesel (photography by: Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, styling by: Nicola Romichetti, artistry by: James Astronaut)
I don't work in the fashion industry. In fact, I am pretty far removed from it. I don't have a reference of what it takes to be a model or to be in the daily grind of such a competitive industry where looks are constantly discussed. But, what I do know is when companies begin to redefine beauty in all forms, people notice. People discuss. People ask questions. People support.
Diesel's recent #dieselreboot campaign (Spring 2014) features 23 models, one of whom is Jillian Mercado - fashion blogger. She's more unique than "typical models" because she has spastic muscular dystrophy. On a whim, she submitted photos of herself during a casting call. Diesel's brand is about young, hip and stylish people and she has all of that - her only difference is having an electric wheelchair for mobility. Fortunately, Diesel was serious about pursuing her and after following up on an email for additional photos of herself, Jillian is now the face of the new campaign - even being featured on Diesel's homepage right now.
With more companies (like Dove and recently with Aerie) challenging the definition of beauty in the fashion industry, we can all look forward to being exposed to nontraditional models.