Model with Down syndrome walks runway at New York Fashion Week

A young model with Down syndrome made her dreams come true on Saturday when she walked the runway at New York Fashion Week.

Marian Avila, 21, of Spain, made her Midtown Manhattan debut in designer Talisha White's spring collection.

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Avila said through a translator that she "felt really happy and [she] really loved the runway." (AP Photo/Leanne Italie)

Avila said through a translator that she "felt really happy and [she] really loved the runway." She added she "wanted to show the world that there are no barriers."

White, 25, and Avila connected online after another model told White of Avila's story.


"She's been a busy supermodel, meeting with all types of people," White said of Avila. "I'm very glad for her. She's been meeting with Vogue. She's been meeting with Harper's Bazaar. She's been meeting in different showrooms, different modeling agencies."

White's mission as a designer, according to her website, "has always been to change the world one stitch at a time, through the dresses we create and the moments our customers will never forget."


Marian Avilabfulfilled her dream to walk at New York Fashion Week thanks to Talisha White, the Atlanta designer she met through the magic of social media. (AP Photo/Leanne Italie)

Avila walked alongside models of all sizes and appearances, including one in a wheelchair, Tae McKenzie of Charlotte, N.C., and a young girl who also has Down syndrome.

"I wanted to show not just one type of girl is beautiful," White said. "I like to showcase all types of girls, from pageant girls to models in wheelchairs, models with Down syndrome, models who are 4 feet and told they can never be a model. They are my 'it' girl."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.