Illinois Teen with Down Syndrome Models in Wet Seal Campaign

By Alexandria Fisher
|  Thursday, Apr 24, 2014  |  Updated 8:46 AM CDT
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    A teen model with Down Syndrome is making headlines after posing in a photo shoot for a popular clothing company.

    Karrie Brown, a 17-year-old high school student from Collinsville, Ill., jumped into the spotlight after she made waves in the fashion world as a model for a photo campaign for the clothing company Wet Seal.

    It all started in August when the teen’s mom, Sue Brown, posted a picture of Karrie in her favorite Wet Seal gear on a Facebook page she titled “Karrie Brown- Modeling the Future.”

    “We recently found out that Wet Seal has started carrying plus size clothing, which happens to be a great fit and fashion for girls with Down Syndrome,” the page read. “Every day we are going to post a picture of Karrie in a different fashion to show she CAN do this. So many movements have been started by using Facebook, so why not a future wet seal model who has special needs?”

    And Facebook fans took notice.

    "The next day, people started texting and tweeting at Wet Seal, and leaving voicemails for them that they should check out Karrie, that she wants to be a model," Brown told TODAY.com. "On their website, they say they believe in diversity and inclusion, and it was just a perfect fit."

    Soon after, the clothing company reportedly contacted Brown with a deal.

    If the page had 10,000 Facebook ‘likes’ by that Friday at noon, the company would have a surprise, the Facebook page reported.

    On Aug. 15, Wet Seal posted a photo of Karrie welcoming her to the Wet Seal family and announced they would fly her out to their California headquarters for an all-inclusive photo shoot.

    And Karrie reportedly took everyone, including her mom, by surprise.

    "She was hilarious. They had her in the first outfit and she's standing there with the white screen behind her and everybody's looking at her, and I thought she was going to get upset because she didn't know what to do, she'd never had a professional photo shoot before," Brown told the website. "All she said was, 'Can I have some Justin Bieber music, please?' So they played some Justin Bieber and she just took off."

    In addition to the shoot, Karrie also got to go on a Wet Seal shopping spree.

    Her next goal? To be on, and dance on, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
     

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