Francesca Rausi's mother said she hopes her daughter's modeling can raise awareness about Down syndrome
A four-year-old girl from Malta brought smiles to the faces of onlookers at a recent fashion show — but none wore a bigger smile than her.
Francesca Rausi, who has Down syndrome, emanated joy as she strutted down the catwalk at a charity fashion show for models with disabilities earlier this month in the small European country. In a clip from the show, Francesca can be seen walking along with more than 20 other models aged between four and 24.
“Francesca has been modeling since she was very young,” the girl’s mom, Michelle Rausi, told Metro UK. “She loves it and was the first toddler in Malta to take part in a modeling competition and won junior top model.”
Michelle said that her daughter would like to become a professional model one day and that she hopes Francesca’s burgeoning career will raise awareness about Down syndrome, The Daily Mail reported.
Though Francesca is only four, her recent walk at the charity event was her fifth time in a show. Her mom told Metro UK that she’s “very comfortable” on the catwalk, and is also competing in the upcoming Malta’s Junior Miss Christmas pageant.
Francesca has already won the “Best Junior Super Model” prize at the Miss Junior Malta competition.
Her proud mom added to Metro UK that watching her daughter do what she loves is an “emotional” experience.
“I feel very emotional watching her because I see the happiness in her eyes,” she said. “It’s out of this world.”
Francesca is also in good company — in her most recent appearance, she shared the stage with 23-year-old Australian model Madeline Stuart, who is known as the first catwalk model with Down syndrome.
“Our goal is to create a real inclusion, trying to involve all the different disabilities by breaking down the mental barriers of those who see disability as a limit,” said the fashion show’s organizer, Tiziana Randisi. “Instead, we see it and live as a resource and wealth to share.”