Essex born Ellie Goldstein had always wanted to be a model. She loved attention and was never one to shy away from the spotlight. Born with Down Syndrome, this driven girl has never let anything hold her back. At 15, she signed with Zebedee modeling agency, a company dedicated to models with disabilities. Within three years, Goldstein has become the face of Gucci’s new Unconventional Beauty campaign.
“Representation is very important to me, let the world see that anyone can model and act with a disability,” said Goldstein during an interview with British Vogue.
The company’s beauty campaign began earlier this year with a partnership between Gucci Beauty and Photo Vogue Festival. They started the Unconventional Beauty campaign which, “promotes the theme of unconventional and non-stereotypical beauty.”
Goldstein was one of several models chosen to feature in a digital campaign for Gucci Beauty and Vogue Italia. Her picture debuted three weeks ago in which she models Gucci’s new L’Obscur Mascara. The Instagram post has since become Gucci’s most-liked post ever, with over 845,000 likes.
The young model said, “When I look at the images, I feel happy with myself, and all the likes and comments on social media across the world have been overwhelming.”
The photos were shot by photographer David PD Hyde, the winner of Gucci’s Instagram scouting program for their Unconventional Beauty Campaign. In an interview, Hyde explained he wanted to showcase the different types of beauty that exist in the world. He also said that many of the people working behind the scenes on the photo shots also had disabilities.
Gucci’s campaign has placed Goldstein amongst a growing number of models with down syndrome who are heading major fashion campaigns. Though she never experienced any cruelty due to her disability, some people don’t communicate directly with her during their first meeting. Goldstein said it takes them some time to realize she is no different from them.
“[I’m] Maybe just slower at learning some things,” she added.
Looking to the future, Goldstein dreams of gracing the front cover of Vogue one day and working with other famous fashion brands. Part of this dream is already in the works; the model recently signed on for a campaign with Nike.
“If you follow your hopes and dreams, you can achieve anything.”