Hair care line Beauty & Pin-ups has set out to change the face of beauty with Katie Meade, the first woman with Down's syndrome to star in a beauty campaign. Meade, from Des Moines, Iowa, was chosen to front the campaign for the company's "fearless" hair range.
Kenny Kahn, the CEO of Beauty & Pin-ups, said: "The line is about the celebration of the empowerment of women and the look to the retro pin-up. Katie and I have been friends. We met through Best Buddies International and we decided it was the simplest decision ever to ask Katie to be our brand ambassador and the face of the product."
Meade, 32, said seeing herself in pictures is amazing. "I can tell everybody that people with disabilities can have abilities like I do. And I'm blessed to be part of this. It's a really big deal for me. And I love being the package deal – the new face of the new product Fearless. It's been amazing. I enjoyed it. I can tell everybody, 'this is your time to shine'. And it's my dream I can chase. And I'm glad it's me standing out to tell you. This is me and I'm glad I can share this to you guys."
For Kahn, selecting Meade wasn't about her disability, it was about selecting a model that stood for something and had depth. "It was about knowing Katie and spending time with her and her family and watching how she takes on every challenge. Speaking in public, Special Olympics, being a Best Buddies ambassador," he said.
Since launching the campaign they have adopted Meade's simple four word motto: "beauty belongs to everybody." The products can be purchased in beauty stores and on the company's website.
In February the first professional catwalk model with Down's syndrome to hit the catwalks, 18-year-old Madeline Stuart, achieved her dream when she was cast to walk for Italian fashion house FTL Moda as part of New York Fashion Week.