New York Fashion Week 2015 is already shaping up to be a memorable event as a bionic model will be returning to the runway. Rebekah Marine will be walking for fashion designer FTL Moda, shedding light on models with disabilities.
Taking place on 13 September, the 28-year-old will be joined by several other models, including Madeline Stewart, 18, who has Downs Syndrome. Marine was born without a right forearm but now wears an i-limb Quantum, one of the most advanced prosthetic hand in the world.
Although she is one of the most renowned amputees in the fashion world now, Marine has told Mashable that making a path for herself in the modelling industry had not been easy. She admitted: "Being a model with a disability has been extremely difficult over the past couple years. Agencies often won't even look at my portfolio. But I've come to realise it's all about finding your niche. I've accepted that most clients may not want to work with me based on my 'disability'.
"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."
Marine is on course to become one of the most recognisable faces in the modelling industry and the IBTimes UK has found everything there is to know about the runway star ...
- This will not be the first time for Marine at the NYFW – she walked for FTL Moda at their AW15 show
- She started her journey in fashion at the age of 22 when she researched into getting a myoelectric prosthesis. Whilst getting the new prosthesis fitted, Marine's friend suggested she model her new "accessory", giving her the idea of "[turning] her 'disability' into something extraordinary"
- She graduated from Rowan University with a Bachelor's in advertising after she ventured into modelling
- Marine is an ambassador for the Lucky Fin Project, a non-profit organisation which helps support those with upper limb differences
- Her biggest aspiration is to be on the Vogue cover. "Above all, I hope to land on the cover of Vogue one day. That's my personal goal. And I won't stop until I get there"