We’re officially calling it: Gap’s GapKids x ED fashion show, featuring nine-year-old Kayla Kosmalskin and 13 other “power girls,” was both the cutest and most empowering fashion show we’ve seen yet. And we’ve got all the exclusive details, plus some make-you-say-awww snapshots, of the show.
Kayla, who has Down Syndrome, hit the catwalk to debut Ellen DeGeneres’s new children’s clothing line for GapKids, GapKids x ED, on Sunday in Miami. The nine-year-old model strutted her stuff alongside 13 other “power girls” — four of whom have a disability — to show off DeGeneres’s new child-size duds in the show. (And it looks like she had a blast!)
“Kayla is just a great little girl,” Katie Driscoll, the founder of Changing the Face of Beauty, the non-profit organization that help put on the event, tells PEOPLE. “She enjoys the spotlight and the modeling scene, so it was a good fit.”
Before being picked for the GapKids show, the mini model also participated in beauty pageants and most recently joined a dance team.
Changing the Face of Beauty, which advocates for equal representation of people with disabilities in advertising and the media, helped plan the event, as well as casted the show’s models.
“It was fantastic — the energy was so high for everyone, models, staff and families attention the show,” Driscoll says. “The girls owned the runway — every single one of them. Everyone shined in their very own way.”
She adds: “As I watched the girls wait to go on, they were giggling and answering fun questions from the Gap staff. I think everyone walked away with a new idea of what disability looks like and a whole lot of perceptions were changed.”
The show was one of eight held to debut the GapKids x ED collection, and in addition to the child models, everyone in attendance had something fun to do, according to Driscoll, even if it was a packed house.
“The turnout was fantastic — both shows were packed,” she tells PEOPLE. “It honestly brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. This event was not about what makes you different. It was everything about what makes you human. This collaboration was a dream come true for us as an organization, and we can not wait to see where Gap takes this next!”
Have you checked out GapKids x ED’s collection? Share below!
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