Daisy-May Demetre is just eight years old, but that hasn’t stopped her from landing a major gig with one of the UK’s biggest high-street retailers.
The avid gymnast from Birmingham stars in River Island’s latest kidswear campaign - and has earned herself quite the following because of it.
She wears prosthetic blades after having both feet amputated when she was just 18 months old, but her disability hasn’t stopped her from doing what she loves most: sports and modelling.
After signing up with Zebedee Management in 2017, she’s become increasingly in demand.
The 8-year-old can often be seen working out in the gym alongside her dad Alex Demetre, who said his daughter’s dedication to modelling had inspired him to get on the straight and narrow after living with an alcohol and gambling problem.
“She will be the most influential inspiring double amputee to have ever lived,” Alex said, before adding that he and his daughter hope to inspire others.
Discussing her latest appearance in the activewear campaign, a spokesperson for River Island said: “We cast our models based on who best fits the brief for the specific activity. For the new RI ACTIVE range for girlswear, we required a model who has lots of energy and who looked great in active wear.
“Daisy-May Demetree fitted this brief perfectly. As well, as having a great, outgoing personality, Daisy-May has a genuine love of all sports.”
Zoe Proctor, director of Zebedee, an agency championing diversity, said when Daisy first arrived at their studio last year she was timid and shy, but she soon relaxed and Zoe knew then she a lot of potential.
“She has since worked for some of the biggest children’s fashion names in the UK and we are currently in talks with some international labels for her,” she added. “She is a wonderful example to us all that no matter what life throws your way, we can choose to make the best of it.”
Zoe also applauded River Island’s commitment to diversity, adding: “They genuinely care about representing diversity and differently abled models as the norm which is how every big fashion company should be.”
The brand launched the RI Kids Squad last year, starring a group of children of mixed abilities aged two to 11. One member of the squad was 11-year-old Joseph Hale, who lives with Down’s syndrome, dyspraxia and global developmental delay.
His parents Karen and Andrew Hale, from Grimsby, previously told HuffPost UK they hoped his appearance in the campaign would help pave the way for more acceptance for disabled people. “We feel immensely proud of Joseph as always, and are extremely grateful to River Island for selecting him, and seeing him for the gorgeous young man he is,” they said.
It looks like their wish came true. Fashion brands around the world, take note.