Ellie Goldstein, an 18-year-old model with Down syndrome from the UK, recently landed a major modeling gig. She stars in a new campaign for Gucci Beauty, making her debut on the brand's Instagram last month. The campaign marks the first time a model with Down syndrome has been featured with the brand.
The gorgeous shots are part of Gucci Beauty's “Unconventional Beauty” campaign, which “promotes the theme of unconventional and non-stereotypical beauty” while supporting emerging talent. Launched in collaboration with Vogue Italia earlier this year, the brand explains in an Instagram post that the social media scouting project (see #theguccibeautyglitch) was all about “promoting inclusivity and enhancing beauty.” London-based photographer David PD Hyde and artist Catherine Servel were selected to lead the initiative, and Goldstein stars alongside four other models who were chosen to be part of the project.
For the campaign, Goldstein models the new Gucci L'Obscur Mascara. According to the brand, the portfolio of photos is inspired by creative director Alessandro Michele’s concept for the lash-enhancing mascara. “I designed L’Obscur mascara for an authentic person who uses makeup to tell their story of freedom, in their way,” she said. The buildable mascara promises a customizable look, from subtle as demonstrated on Goldstein to bold.
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The Instagram scouting partnership between #GucciBeauty and @vogueitalia is celebrated in a special editorial shot by @davidpdhyde—the first photographer selected through the scouting—featuring model Ellie @elliejg16_zebedeemodel wearing Gucci Mascara L’Obscur. #AlessandroMichele @gucci @alessandro_michele
Goldstein’s campaign photo has over 100,000 likes on Instagram and is flooded with comments celebrating the model and praising the beauty brand for its inclusive initiative. “I love this. Thank you for this amazing opportunity and a fabulous day shooting,” she responded in the comment section of the post. She also shared a behind-the-scenes photo of herself from the shoot on her own Instagram account, writing: “Best day EVER! I feel so lucky and honoured to be chosen for this mascara campaign.”
Goldsteing, who has been modeling since she was 15, joins the small but growing number of models with Down syndrome who are making major moves in the industry and challenging norms. “Representation is very important to me — let the world see that anyone can model and act with a disability,” she told 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.”
“I feel so proud of myself, especially to have been chosen for this,” she said of the Gucci Beauty campaign, adding, “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.” As for what’s next, Goldstein said her dream job is to be on the cover of Vogue and to “show the world who I am and what I can achieve.”
We can’t wait to see it! Goldstein’s future is no doubt bright.
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