18-Year-Old Model with Down Syndrome Featured in Gucci Beauty Editorial: 'I Feel So Lucky'

Ellie Goldstein was part of Gucci Beauty and Vogue Italia's "Unconventional Beauty" campaign, which supports emerging talents and "promotes the theme of unconventional and non-stereotypical beauty"

Ellie Goldstein Vogue Italia Gucci Beauty
Ellie Goldstein. Photo: David PD Hyde/Vogue Italia

Ellie Goldstein is making strides in the modeling world.

The 18-year-old British model was recently featured in Gucci Beauty's "Unconventional Beauty" campaign, which supports emerging talents and "promotes the theme of unconventional and non-stereotypical beauty."

The project marks one of the first times that a model with Down syndrome has been featured with the brand.

"It feels so amazing and fabulous to be part of the Gucci Beauty campaign," Goldstein told British Vogue. "I feel so proud of myself, especially to have been chosen for this."

"When I look at the images, I feel happy with myself, and all the likes and comments on social media across the world have been overwhelming," she added.

Ellie Goldstein Vogue Italia Gucci Beauty
Ellie Goldstein. David PD Hyde/Vogue Italia

The "Unconventional Beauty" project is the culmination of an initiative between Gucci Beauty and Photo Vogue Festival and was first launched on Instagram in January 2020.

The purpose was to select two photographers who could shoot a digital editorial focused on unconventional beauty for Gucci Beauty and Vogue Italia.

After over 6,000 photos were posted to Instagram, the brands chose London photographer David PD Hyde and multidisciplinary artist Catherine Servel to lead the project in February.

Goldstein was eventually selected to model in the campaign, as well as Enam Asiama, who is a plus-size advocate.

Both Goldstein and Asiama made their Gucci debut on the brand's Instagram last month, with the professional shots showing the women modeling Gucci's Mascara L’Obscur.

Goldstein also shared a behind-the-scenes photo of herself from the shoot on Instagram on Monday, captioning it, "Best day EVER! 💜🙏 I feel so lucky and honoured to be chosen for this mascara campaign."

RELATED VIDEO: Models with Down Syndrome Hit the Runway for a One-of-a-Kind Fashion Show

A model with Zebedee Management from the time she was 15 years old, Goldstein said she was initially drawn to the agency because of their focus on models with disabilities and visible differences.

"Representation is very important to me — let the world see that anyone can model and act with a disability," she explained to British Vogue. "Once people realize I can talk and have a great character, they are different towards me and they smile. There needs to be more positivity out there and people should give us a chance and not be so ignorant."

Looking ahead, the model said she hopes to continue being a role model to her fans, as well as one day, be featured on the cover of Vogue.

"My hope as a model is to become famous one day. My dream job [is to] be on the front cover of Vogue and work for other big brands. My hopes and dreams are to show the world who I am and what I can achieve," she told the outlet. "If you follow your hopes and dreams, you can achieve anything."

Goldstein joins the growing list of models with Down syndrome who have been recognized by global fashion brands, shows and campaigns in an effort to promote inclusion and diversity.

In November, a 4-year-old girl from Malta strutted down the catwalk at a charity fashion show in Europe for models with disabilities.

A few months later, Sofía Jirau made headlines after she showcased her talents at New York Fashion Week in February, modeling for Marisa Santiago at the dress designer’s show.

Like Jirau, Spanish model Marian Avila and Australian model Madeline Stuart — who is known as the first catwalk model with Down syndrome — also took part in New York Fashion Week.

Additionally, many stores and brands — including Aerie, Target, American Girl and beauty brand Glossigirl — have all featured models with Down syndrome in their campaigns and advertisements.

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