Aug 31, 2015

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Jillian Mercado: Taking the Fashion Industry by Storm

The fashion industry has been responsible for instilling in people what the standard of beauty is. Models have become many people’s basis for what perfect means. This is why anything that deviates from such an image isn’t considered desirable. Thanks to the efforts of a few people, the fashion industry is slowly changing.

After so many decades, you can finally see plus-sized, shorter or “imperfect” models gracing magazine ads, the internet and television with their presence. These include Tess Holliday, who is the first ever model of her size to get signed up with a major modelling agency.

Recently, a new name has surfaced and attempts to defy what has always been considered “normal” in the world of fashion. This person is Jillian Mercado.

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Who is Jillian Mercado?

Her name first made rounds when she was hired to star in Diesel’s new campaign back in 2014. Jillian was one of the 23 participants who were hired by the denim company to represent various sects of youth culture, including tattooed models and Japanese internet stars. Among the many participants of that campaign, Jillian was the company’s artistic director Nicola Formichetti’s favorites.

Twenty-six year old Jillian is a wheelchair-bound fashion editor and blogger who has muscular dystrophy. What makes her so striking, aside from her trademark platinum blonde hair and bright red lipstick, is her confidence. So instead of hiding her wheelchair in the ad, Formichetti decided to include it.

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After her debut in the Diesel ad, Jillian is now signed with IMG, an international leader in model management, most popular for its diverse client roster. Some of its most popular models include Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen, Gigi Hadid, Alex Wek, Candice Swanepoel, Coco Rocha and Chanel Iman.

With Jillian Mercado signed with such a big agency, differently abled people will finally have representation in fashion. She said, “I felt like I belonged in fashion… I just felt at home, like I had found my people, my little family in fashion. I knew I needed to be around this all the time, and as a result I became slightly obsessed with it!”

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