Top Unique Models That Are Breaking Boundaries

A model is a person with a role either to promote, display or advertise commercial products (notably fashion clothing in fashion shows), or to serve as a visual aide for people who are creating works of art or to pose for photographs. Modelling as a profession was first established in 1853 by Charles Frederick Worth, the “father of haute couture”, when he asked his wife, Marie Vernet Worth, to model the clothes he designed. The term “house model” was coined to describe this type of work. Eventually, this became common practice for Parisian fashion houses. There were no standard physical measurement requirements for a model, and most designers would use women of varying sizes to demonstrate variety in their designs.

It is a common knowledge that a model feature must consist of slim and straight body, tanned and smooth skin, long legs and tighs that never get to meet in the middle. However, some daring models recently changed this cliche by challenging the beauty norms of the fashion industry with their personal optimism and a decision to be an inspiration to their world.

1) My name is Nastia Zhidkova, now I’m 18 years old. Also my nicknames are Kiki, Kiker, KIMI. The first two – the personal, the third – the model. You understand that the foreigners uncomfortable calling me “Nastya”.
2) I was born in Moscow, and in the same study. From Solntsevo, I graduated from high school there in 1542 and entered the Moscow State Law Academy. Budget, Institute of Law, but will be transferred to the Uzi because of work.
3) I work as a model. Yes, I have currently two agencies on the third line:
• Lilas Model Management (Moscow)
• City Models (Paris)
• Zucca (Tokyo)
4) I do not answer questions about the “Help me choose agency / photographer” so as not to give the right advice, everyone must choose the most preferred and currently I am a novice. And as they say “Every model has different modeling stories”.
5) My height is 166 cm and with the growth of work. My settings have on the sites of agencies, and the weight should not touch you. I have no idea whether this growth to break some other girl try. But the growth – this is important. But the main thing – the desire! ))
6) I am an albino. I have poor eyesight, it is not measured in diopters. I can not describe my vision. It is 8% of the 100 as I know. I have no relatives albino, my parents are dark. The rest is about albinism Google.
7) I am not currently in a relationship. I they were all times. More on this subject you should not touch anything 
8) I speak Russian, English. Also understand French and I know Latin.
9) I am fond of Japanese culture, anime, cosplay, japan music, japan street fashion, lolita, sociology, psychology, law, modeling, singing (she sang in the last). I want to study several languages perfectly.
10) I have no brothers and sisters, only consolidated two sisters, with no common parent.
11) My family you should not touch. As the orientation of some of my parents’.
12) The main thing for me in man – his human qualities. They take precedence over external and erudition,
13) I have enough friends. I’m not ready to make new, especially on the internet.
14) All references to me, you can find on my page VKontakte, it is information.

Born in 1928, Daphne Selfe grew up in London and the Home Counties, before being sent to boarding school during the Second World War. Just after her twenty-first birthday she won a local magazine cover girl competition and joined the Gaby Young Agency in London, where she trained to be a model. She has been an artist’s model, a house model and a commercial model, appearing in advertisements for anything from clothes to breakfast cereal to gin. Happily married for many years to Jim Smith, who worked in theatre and television production, Daphne stopped modelling and moved to Hertfordshire, where she still lives, to bring up their three children. But when her husband died after a long illness, she was suddenly rediscovered – at the age of seventy. She has been working continuously ever since. She has told her extraordinary story in her memoirs, The Way We Wore.

Jillian Mercado (born April 30, 1987) is an American fashion model with muscular dystrophy represented by IMG Models. As a wheelchair user, she is one of the few professional models who has a physical disability in the fashion industry. A prominent figure in the new wave of models challenging beauty ideals in the fashion industry, Mercado is keen to fight the lack of representation of people with disabilities in the fashion industry and their enduring stigma.

‘I don’t want to be labelled as the disabled model’: Why Jillian Mercado is set on tackling fashion’s diversity problem – When she was cast in a campaign for Beyonce’s merchandise early 2016 the images quickly went viral. But whilst many disability activists praised the images, which featured Mercado posing in her wheelchair alongside two other models, there was also some discussion of whether the campaign was tokenistic.  Mercado admits that is something she has worried about. “There was a moment when I asked myself, ‘Am I being used as a token? Or someone they use to get attention and media from?’ And then I concluded that I have to start somewhere, there has to be a start,” she tells The Telegraph

Kanya was born in Pak Chong, Thailand without legs. She was abandoned on the front steps of a Buddhist temple when she was only one week old. The monks at the temple took care of her for one year until she was transferred to a Bangkok hospital. The plan was to find her a family, and more importantly a loving home. For a few years, she lived with an older loving couple that she loved to call her grandparents. It was at the age of 5 that she was finally united with her devoted adoptive parents and destiny brought her to Portland, Oregon.

Pushed by her inexhaustible energy and her invincible attitude not to let anything stop her she started at a very young age with skateboarding, surfing, mono-skiing, tennis, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair racing, hiking, swimming, break dancing, quad driving and a lot more. After competing in 100, 200 and 400-meter wheelchair racing events at school and at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ she has intensified training to qualify for Team USA for the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in mono-skiing.

At the age of 15, she began modeling sportswear. While launching her screen acting career with a guest appearance on Code Black (2015) in 2015, her barrier-breaking lingerie photo shoot and her modeling campaigns with major brands like Nike, Billabong and Panty Prop received massive media attention worldwide and have changed the fashion model world as well as the advertising model world forever.

Lives by the motto: no legs, no limits.
Model(ed) for Nike, Billabong, Panty Prop.
In training to qualify for Team USA for the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in mono-skiing.
Her lingerie photo shoot and her Panty Prop model deal in 2015 received massive media attention and got covered by major outlets all over the world like Cosmopolitan, Playboy, People Magazine, Huffington Post, Independent, Daily Mail, Daily Star, Le Figaro, Stern, Hürriyet, New Zealand Herald, Xin Hua and hundreds more.

Kelly Knox was born in Enfield, North London and raised in both Enfield and Poplar, East London. She was born without a left forearm but, from the age of seven, refused to wear a prosthetic arm and since then has never used a prosthesis.

Kelly is a Model, Mother and Warrior… dedicated and passionate advocate for diversity in fashion with the aim to dismiss society’s preconceptions about disability and to change the beauty ideal. Kelly is listed in the Power 100 – Britain’s most influential people with a disability and is devoted to motivating future generations. Over the course of her career Kelly has worked hard to offer inspiration to those who need to develop confidence. She has spread her message of diversity and drive internationally and across various cultures and social movements.

Kelly’s CV includes: Britain’s Missing Top Model – Winner, P&G Beauty Vision House in Beijing, Debenhams, ‘Think New’ Oslo City, Gok Wan’s “Gokette” in two series of the ever-popular television show ‘How To Look Good Naked’, Pakistani Fashion Week, Celebrity Ready Steady Cook, Marie Claire UK, Marie Claire China, DIVA, Glamour, Teatum Jones for London Fashion Week, Hey Girl Magazine, LAPP The Brand, Simply Be, Lost Village Festival, Liberty Festival and Kelly starred as lead Actress in Channel 4’s I’m Spazticus.

Kelly has supported numerous organizations over the years such as: REACH, Action For Children, Disability Confident, Parallel London, Park Avenue Disability Resource Centre (hosted an inclusive fashion show for service users), Shape Arts, London Book Fair as part of their Equal Measures Event (speaker), London College of Fashion ‘Better Lives Seminar’ – Speaker on ‘Ableism in Fashion’, Mines Advisory Group and United Response.

Kelly is currently on the advisory panel for ‘Be Real’ Body Confidence Campaign.

In August 2016, Kelly was shortlisted as Celebrity of the Year at the National Diversity Awards.

Kelly is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post UK.

Kelly is represented by MiLK Management.

Madeline Stuart (born 1996 in Brisbane) is an Australian model with Down syndrome. She has appeared on the New York Fashion Week catwalk twice, becoming the second model with Down syndrome at the event after Jamie Brewer. She has been described as the world’s first professional model with Down syndrome.

Stuart decided that she wanted to be a model upon visiting a fashion show in Brisbane with her mother in 2014. She lost 44 pounds (20 kg) and then attended a photoshoot. Stuart’s career began in 2015 when her mother started an online campaign in order to secure her a modeling contract. This led to Stuart gaining a large online following and signing two modeling contracts: one with the fitness-wear brand Manifesta and one with the handbag brand everMaya. She subsequently took part in a bridal photo shoot for Rixey Manor in Virginia and appeared in Vogue.

On 12 February 2017, in front of a packed audience at New York Fashion Week, Madeline officially added “clothing designer” to her already impressive resume with the launch of her clothing label 21 Reasons Why.

The name of her brand was inspired by her passion to find reasons to better ourselves, be more inclusive, healthier, and why we should celebrate life, whilst taking pride in her 21st chromosome. Maddy’s mission is to continue to spread her message of inclusion; that there are no boundaries regardless of your age, size, race, height, or disability.

21 Reasons Why mirrors Maddy’s own daily style that she wears off the runway. A contemporary, edgy women’s ready-to-wear collection, perfect for day wear and yet trendy and versatile for an evening out on the town.

Melanie Gaydos is a 28-year-old model living in Seattle who is changing the industry standards in the fashion world.

Gaydos was born with Ectodermal dysplasia (ED), the blanket term for a group of closely related conditions with over 150 different syndromes identified. Among the symptoms of ED are the absence or abnormality of hair, teeth, nails, fingers, and irregular skin pigmentation.

Gaydos is partially blind because of an eyelash growth that scratched her eyes, has alopecia, and has endured three different dental implants — eventually opting to remove her dentures altogether due to her eating preferences, as reported by The Independent.

She began modeling as an art student at Pratt Institute when her professor asked her to pose for a shoot, after falling in love with the self-portraits she drew of herself.

Gaydos described how the experience inspired her to take modeling seriously to Cosmopolitan.

I knew that I was the only person who looked like me. I was the only person who had my sense of vision and such a unique way of looking at the world.

Afterward, Gaydos began posing for photographers she found on Craigslist, and has since modeled for i-DGalore, and Love magazines. In 2015, she walked the Nina Athanasiou runway for New York Fashion Week.

She has also gained quite a following with an Instagram that serves up its own digital museum vibes and has attracted 126,000 followers.

The kicker? Gaydos has single-handedly accomplished all of this bad-assery with no modeling agency contract and no manager.

Still, Gaydos’ Journey Has Not Been Without Struggle

The model endured bullying in elementary school and is even open about once having suicidal thoughts. She leaned into her creativity to pull herself into a better place.

I created a lot of art work and kinda became really hopeful and true to myself. I knew that there was a bigger reason as to why I was still here and other wise, I wouldn’t have still been alive. I really just try to keep out the negativity and look forward. It was really hard but I realized a lot with creating in general. That’s what got me through my days.


Moffy is not like every other female supermodel. Sure, she is young, beautiful, talented and has the right body measurements, but there’s also something that tells her apart from all the other professional models. Moffy is cross-eyed.

Most girls are denied a career in the modeling industry because of their physical “flaws”, but in young Moffy’s case, her strabismus, a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned with each other, was exactly what helped her succeed in the fashion world. Before her now-famous photo-shoot for POP Magazine, Moffy had never been photographed for a fashion mag, but her pure, unconventional beauty seduced everyone, even the people at Storm, the model agency that discovered Kate Moss, who recently signed Moffy. Tyrone LeBon, the photographer who worked with her for POP, said: “Moffy is a girl who my girlfriend Adwoa suggested to Max [Pearmain] and I. We chose to shoot her because we had recently shot with models and wanted a change. Moffy had never been photographed for a magazine and it’s always exciting to work with someone where there is uncertainty about how it might work out.” I for one think it turned out pretty awesome.

Moffy, short for Myfanwy (“when I was little my parents used to sing ‘little miss Moffy sat on her toffee’ and it just stuck forever, partly, I think, because Myfanwy is a bit of a mouthful,” she tells us), somewhat stumbled into her first modelling job. Said job just so happened to be the cover of Pop magazine, the iconic fashion publication founded by Katie Grand at the turn of the Millennium. Then came a contract with agency responsible for Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne, Storm. Cue many an article hailing her the ultimate mold-breaking beauty.

Winnie Harlow (born Chantelle Brown-Young; July 27, 1994) is a Canadian fashion model, spokesperson, and activist. She gained prominence as a contestant on the twenty-first cycle of the U.S. television series America’s Next Top Model while having a prominent form of the skin condition vitiligo.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, the daughter of Lisa Brown and Windsor Young. She is of Jamaican ancestry and has two sisters. She was diagnosed with the chronic skin condition, characterized by depigmentation of portions of the skin, at the age of four. Harlow was a victim of bullying by other children and was reportedly called a “cow, zebra, and all manner of other disparaging slurs” throughout her childhood. The verbal harassment led to her changing schools numerous times and dropping out of high school, after which she contemplated committing suicide.

Harlow was discovered by America’s Next Top Model host Tyra Banks on Instagram, and subsequently became one of the fourteen finalists of the twenty-first cycle in 2014. She was the first and only Canadian ever cast on ANTM. She was eliminated in the second week of the finals, and participated in a separate competition called the “comeback series”, where she continued to participate in the cycle’s photo shoots along with the other eliminated contestants in an effort to return to the competition. After completing the comeback series, she was revealed to have received the highest average public vote score, and returned. She was eliminated again in episode 13, placing sixth overall.
Following her elimination from America’s Next Top Model, Harlow modelled for the Spanish clothing brand Desigual and became their official brand representative. In September 2014, she walked and closed for the clothing brand Ashish for their spring/summer 2015 collection in London Fashion Week. She has modelled for fashion magazines such as i-D and Dazed, and for the fashion website In 2015, Harlow modelled for the Italian clothing brand Diesel for its spring/summer 2015 campaign, which was shot by British fashion photographer Nick Knight. She modelled for the Spanish and Italian editions of Glamour magazine and was featured in the August/September 2015 issue of Complex magazine. She was also featured in the August 2015 issue of Cosmopolitan. She was featured on Vogue Italia’s website in an interview and accompanying photo shoot. In August 2015, Harlow shot the cover of and an accompanying editorial spread in the September issue of Ebony magazine, where she appeared alongside former America’s Next Top Model contestant Fatima Siad. In 2016, Harlow was featured in a commercial for Sprite, and was featured in a campaign for Swarovski. The same year, she was chosen as one of BBC’s 100 Women