Valentina Guerrero is not even a year old and she's already a swimsuit cover model with a designer campaign under her elasticized belt.
But perhaps more impressively, she has Down syndrome, making her the first person with Down syndrome to ever be featured as the main model in a notable designer's fashion campaign.
Valentina, who hails from Miami, is the face of the 2013 DC Kids children's line from Spanish designer Dolores Cortes, reports the New York Daily News. Her smiling face graces not only the cover of the line's catalogue, but several interior shots, as well.
"People with Down syndrome are just as beautiful and deserve the same opportunities," Cortes says in a statement that was reprinted in the Daily News. "I'm thrilled to have Valentina modeling for us."
Cortes, who has pledged to donate 10 per cent of the profits from the DC Kids line to the Down Syndrome Association of Miami, walked the runway at last week's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Swim Week show with Valentina in her arms.
How did Valentina's parents, Ceceliz and Juan Fernando, feel about their daughter being chosen for this role?
"I was excited mainly because the fact that they are placing Valentina on the [cover] of a catalogue sends a very clear message of inclusion; all children deserve the same opportunities, regardless of their physical, economic, social, racial or medical condition," Ceceliz Fernando tells the Down Syndrome Association of Miami.
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Valentina may be the first child with Down syndrome to head an ad campaign for a prestigious designer collection, but she's not the first child with Down syndrome to be cast in a major ad campaign.
In January, it was announced that 6-year-old Ryan, a child with Down syndrome who had previously appeared in a Nordstrom catalogue, would be featured in an ad campaign for Target, reports Stylite.
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