River Island's brilliant new kids clothing campaign features children with disabilities

We’re loving River Island’s new campaign which features children with disabilities [Photo: River Island]

Six children with disabilities have been unveiled as models for River Island’s latest brilliant fashion campaign.

The fashion industry has been taking baby steps towards diversity of late. Last September disabled models took to the catwalk for LFW and at PFW Alexander McQueen saw two curvy models rock its runway for the very first time. 

But when it comes to children’s clothing, we often only see certain children represented in fashion advertising.

Thankfully, River Island is flying the flag for inclusivity by choosing a bunch of super sweet child models to star in its latest campaign, all of whom have a disability.

Cora, who has Down Syndrome poses up a storm in the latest campaign  [Photo: River Island]

The children, who come from across the UK, are aged between three and 10 and have been diagnosed with a range of different conditions, including Down’s Syndrome, cerebral palsy and eyesight issues. And they make for some pretty sweet models.

Expertly posing in the latest super cool designs from the River Island Kids Clothing range, the adverts are a continuation from their kids squad campaign, which went live last October and really celebrate diversity.

Teddy, who has cerebal palsy, makes an amazing model [Photo: River Island]

Marking its 30-year anniversary, the high-street fashion brand has joined forces with leading international anti-bullying charity Ditch The Label to spread the message that “labels are for clothes, not kids.”

“This spring we are celebrating 30 years of River Island with an exciting, positive campaign #LABELSAREFORCLOTHES, that celebrates individuality,” a spokesperson from River Island said of the campaign.

“We launched the kids campaign with a carefully curated cast of kids, ranging from 2-11 years, all share their desire to have fun which you can see through their unique personalities.

“The models were selected for the campaign to reflect the diversity of our customers and celebrate an ethos that rings as true in society as it does our wardrobes, that being different is more than OK.”

We’re loving River Island’s new campaign which features children with disabilities [Photo: River Island]

The models, many of whom are from Zebedee Management – an agency that supplies diverse models and sensitive representation, include six-year-old Cora, who has Down Syndrome. She has a Chihuahua called Pancho and loves pizza, sparkles and dancing.

Teddy, who suffers from cerebal palsy, is a total charmer who takes modelling in his stride. When he’s not posing in front of the camera, Teddy is a bit of an adventurer and loves sailing and horse-riding.

Little dude Gabriel, who also has Downs Syndrome, sees everything as an adventure. When he’s not making new friends, he’s playing pranks or chilling with Phoebe his (one-eyed) pirate pug.

Speaking of the collaboration, Laura Johnson and Zoe Proctor, of Zebedee Management, told Yahoo Style: “We are thrilled that River Island have included our Zebedee models in their campaign, it is encouraging to see big high street brands representing disability diversity so genuinely in their advertising.

“Our hope is that our models have a fair shot of getting work alongside other ‘mainstream’ models so we see a balanced cross section of society , and not a one off act of tokenism.

“Our models are talented, beautiful and strong individuals who deserve to work with the top clients going and it is our mission to make this happen not just once but on a long term basis.”

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