Daisy-May Demetre presents a creation by Designer Eni Hegedus-Buiron for luxury children's wear label Lulu et Gigi during Paris Fashion Week in Paris. Reuters
A British girl who lost both her legs when she was just 18 months old has made her Paris catwalk debut on the Eiffel Tower.
Nine-year-old Daisy-May Demetre from Birmingham walked for a luxury French children's brand in the show high on the Paris landmark Friday and told AFP the experience "makes me feel pretty and special."
Daisy is seen during a photo shoot a day before the show of luxury children's wear label Lulu.
Daisy-May was born with fibular hemimelia, where part or all of the bone in the lower leg is missing.
She had to have the double amputation while still a baby and later received prosthetic legs on which she learned to walk.
The Paris show was her third appearance as a model for the label Lulu et Gigi, after New York and London fashion weeks.
Her disability is an actual gift and she wears that gift with pride. Reuters
Her father Alex Demetre said the disabled community were behind his daughter. And he said he was not surprised at all the attention.
"I'm not surprised because I know what Daisy is like, she's an exceptional young girl proving that disability doesn't hold you back and she's a great role model for anybody trying to pursue their dreams.
"Any goal she has in her head I think she can achieve, anything she chooses to do. That's a great feeling as a parent," Demetre added.
"Obviously coming back from a situation when she was born, when you see no future, where you see no hope... (now) anything is possible, that's an amazing thing," he told AFP after the show.
She told Reuters Television she loves putting pretty clothes on and posing for the camera.
"I get my hair done, then I get my make-up done and then I put my dress on, and my legs, and I get on the catwalk. Sometimes I do not even feel different," she said.
Her father Alex Demetre told Reuters he had taken to drinking and gambling after she was born and even had suicidal thoughts worrying about how her handicap was going to affect her life.
After seeing a TV show about fashion, he proposed modeling to her and since then she has worked for several major UK clothing retailers as well as for sports brand Nike Inc.
"When she was born, we thought it was going to be the end of the world. How people were going to look at her and perceive her, like boyfriends, and husbands.
Now I see that she was a gift. Her disability is an actual gift and she wears that gift with pride. It does not hold her back in any way," he said.
Lulu et Gigi founder Eni Hegedus-Buiron said she had no second thoughts about hiring an amputee to model her luxury children's clothing, which can cost as much as $2,600 for a "Princess and the Pea Gown".
"We bring her among the other girls. We have a curvy teen model. We have models with Down syndrome. Inclusion is for all different children," she said.
Reuters / Agence France-Presse
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