7 Disabled Models Who Are Killing it in the Fashion World

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It’s no secret that the fashion industry has historically been incredibly ableist. But there are some incredible models who are making waves and changing the game.

Below, check out some of our favorite disabled models who you need to know about asap.

1. Aaron Rose Philip

 

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Naturally, we have to start with Aaron Rose Philip, who has been an incredible trailblazer in the industry. The trans model worked with incredible brands like Mugler, Gigi Hadid‘s brand Guest in Resident, and Moschino — she even rocked the Moschino Runway for NYFW SS22.

She’s also appeared in several fashion spreads for magazines like i-D, Interview, WWD, Vogue Polska, Fashion, and more.

When she’s not busy in a photoshoot, she’s busy advocating for trans and disabled folks on her IG page.

You can follow Aaron Rose Philip on Instagram here.

2. Nyle DiMarco

nyle dimarco antm model
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Multi-talented model/actor Nyle DiMarco has created an amazing career for himself that all started with his appearance on America’s Next Top Model — which he won, naturally.

He then went on to win Dancing With the Stars before making the switch to acting on TV shows like Switched at Birth, Difficult People, and Station 19. He also collaborated with The ASL App, which teaches conversational ASL phrases and signs.

He’s also working hard behind the scenes to bring Deaf representation to the forefront with his show DEAF U on Netflix, which he executive produced, and his documentary short Audible.

You can follow Nyle DiMarco on Instagram here.

3. Jillian Mercado

disabled model jillian mercado
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If anyone has made an impact on the fashion world, it’s Jillian Mercado. The model-turned-actress first started gaining traction in 2014 when she modeled for Diesel. Two years later, she made headlines around the world in a campaign for the one and only Beyonce.

She’s since gone on to appear in CR Fashion Book, Glamour, Cosmo, and Galore.

She also made the transition to actress in her role of Maribel on The L Word: Generation Q.

You can follow Jillian Mercado on Instagram here.

4. Tasha Ghouri

 

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Deaf model and reality star Tasha Ghouri first came to public attention in 2021 when ASOS featured her on its website. Tasha has cochlear implants (learn the difference between cochlear implants vs OTC hearing aids vs PSAPS) and fans were thrilled to see her promoting earrings on the fast fashion site with her cochlear implant in full view.

She later went on to appear on season 8 of Love Island, where she found romance with now-boyfriend Andrew Le Page.

Her modeling career has only continued to blossom and has been tapped as a brand ambassador for eBay UK, lingerie brand Ann Summers, Loreal, and more.

You can follow Tasha Ghouri on Instagram here.

5. Chella Man

 

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Chella Man is an incredibly talented artist, author, and model who often explores the intersection of what it’s like being disabled, queer, and Asian.

Chella has dabbled in a variety of artistic endeavors including performance art, collages, films, paintings, and photography, to name a few. Over the years, he’s worked with brands such as Nike and Tommy Hilfiger and has appeared in Vogue and Vogue Hong Kong.

You can follow Chella Man on Instagram here.

6. Ellie Goldstein

 

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British model Ellie Goldstein broke barriers in 2020 when she was featured in a Gucci Beauty campaign, becoming the first model with Down’s Syndrome to work with the brand.

Since then, Ellie has gone on to work with brands like Adidas, Adam Reed London, George At Asda, Primark, LEGO, and Sonora Boots.

In October 2022, she was named in The Business of Fashion’s 500.

You can follow Ellie Goldstein on Instagram here.

7. Nina Marker

autistic model nina maker
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Daniel model Nina Marker, who’s on the Autism spectrum, has already kicked off 2023 right — with a feature in Vogue Netherlands!

Nina has had a hugely successful career — both on the runway and off. In 2018 alone, she was featured in print campaigns for Stella McCartney, Versace Jeans, and Chanel. She’s also walked the runway for huge fashion houses including Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Valentino, Chloe, Dior, and so many more. She most recently walked for Ferragamo during Fashion month in September 2022 and for DSQAURED2 in its Fall/Winter 2023 show.

You can follow Nina Marker on Instagram here.

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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.