International Model Madeline Stuart, who will be walking the Ekka runway at the National Fibres Parades Showcase. Photo Lachie Millard
International Model Madeline Stuart, who will be walking the Ekka runway at the National Fibres Parades Showcase. Photo Lachie Millard

Ipswich woman’s huge year on the international stage

INTERNATIONAL supermodel and former Ipswich schoolgirl, Madeline Stuart had a tough end to 2018 after going through heart surgery, but it didn't take her long to bounce back.

She rates 2019 as one of her best years yet.

Officially starting work again on March 4, 2019, after going through therapy and rehab for heart surgery, Madeline started her year by walking for fashion label Alleira Batik to commemorate World Down syndrome Day.

"Yeah - happy and proud of her and the work she accomplished in 2019," Madeline's mum Rosanne Stuart said.

Ms Stuart was by Madeline's side throughout 2019, helping her achieve her goals and set new ones for 2020.

"We've got a heavy focus on continuing to walk for well-known high-end fashion designers for 2020," she said.

After walking for international luxury fashion designers last year like Hendrik Vermeulen and Ibraina BA for New York Fashion Week, Madeline caught the travel bug.

"Every time we came back home last year after being away, Madeline would ask when we would be leaving again for work," Ms Stuart said.

As if walking down international runways wasn't enough of an accomplishment, Madeline was also named one of Girlfriend magazine's 25 successful women under the age of 25 in 2019.

Being featured alongside scientists, engineers and influencers, Madeline described the achievement as an honour.

"There's no greater joy for me than representing diversity and showing the world we are all equal, beautiful and capable," Madeline said in an Instagram post.

Rosanne Stuart said she felt as if her and Madeline were growing in confidence.

"We didn't think we actually did a lot last year," Ms Stuart said.

"It wasn't until I stopped and thought about everything, she had done throughout the year that I realised that we had done a lot - I think we're used to it now."

Madeline walked for well-known fashion label Tommy Hilfiger at New York Fashion Week.

She is also one of a handful of people to be followed on Instagram by the official Instagram account and did a story with the social media platform last year.

In order to tac kle 2019 with the strength she needed, Madeline got into the best shape possible, something Ms Stuart said Madeline accomplished with the help of her personal trainer and a tremendous worth ethic.

"She's got a trainer now and trains at Jindalee almost every day, twice a day," Ms Stuart said.

"She's in great shape and did everything she could to make sure she was in shape to fit designer clothing," she said.

It's hard to imagine how Madeline Stuart could get any bigger in 2020 after walking for New York, London, and Paris Fashion Week last year, but according to Ms Stuart it's just the beginning for Ipswich's' favourite model.

"At the moment we're looking at walking again in New York and London fashion Week - we just have to wait for some contracts to be settled but we have some things planned for 2020," Ms Stuart said.


The world's first supermodel model with down syndrome Madeline Stuart at her home in Mt Crosby. Pics Tara Croser.
The world's first supermodel model with down syndrome Madeline Stuart at her home in Mt Crosby. Pics Tara Croser.



What 2020 holds for Madeline

THE next year is set to be another big one for Madeline with jobs already booked for New York, Los Angeles and London Fashion Week.

Madeline's walked international runways every year since 2015 and 2020 will be no exception with a strong focus on international high-end designers and the hope that 2020 will bring with it more opportunities in Australia. As part of her advocacy work, Madeline is set to contribute a lot of 2020 to raising awareness to causes, she believes in.

"We've worked with a lot of American organisations like the American Heart Association and will do more work with them this year," Ms Stuart said.

In 2020, Madeline and her mum want to work with more Australian brands.

"We would love to work with an Australian brand, and we would love to work during Melbourne Fashion Week."

Madeline was so in demand last year that when an opportunity arose to work in Australia, she couldn't take it as she was going overseas.

"We had always wanted to walk as part of Melbourne Fashion Week and when we finally got given a chance last year to do it, we couldn't do it as she had already agreed to work in New York," Ms Stuart said.

One of Madeline's goals is to be signed by IMG and walk for the major fashion shows in Australia.

"We would really like to walk for all the major fashion shows in Australia Like Melbourne Fashion Week and Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival," Ms Stuart said.


Madeline Stuart.
Madeline Stuart.



Madelines's advocacy work

MADELINE Stuart was the first model with down syndrome to walk Fashion Week shows all around the world and remains the only person with an intellectual disability to be approved for a work visa in the US.

In 2019, she continued to raise awareness for people living with disabilities.

Madeline worked with a variety of charities in 2019 including NDSS, Women of Inspiration, Runway of Dreams and the Naked Heart Foundation.

"One of Madeline's highlights for 2019 was walking for the Naked Heart Foundation," Madeline's mum and manager Rosanne Stuart said.

Naked Heart Foundations' Love Ball Arabia event in Doha, Qatar, was organised by The Naked Heart Foundations' model founder Natalia Vodianova.

Madeline was part of an ensemble of international celebrities that attended the event.

"I'm proud of Madeline, she's basically helped change the whole fashion industry. She's a trendsetter," Ms Stuart said.

Madeline has done her part to raise awareness for the recent bushfires.

"She's doing what a lot of people are doing now and raising awareness through social media," Ms Stuart said.

Madeline also spends her time running a dance school for people with disabilities.

"Madeline's dance school is the biggest dance school for people with disabilities in Queensland," Ms Stuart said.

Madeline's dance school Inside Outside Dance started out in 2015 and is still going strong.