9-year-old double amputee will walk runway at New York Fashion Week

Young model has prosthetic legs

By Dominic Rech
Alex Demetre via CNN

Daisy, pictured with her father Alex, who is immensely proud of her.

(CNN) - 9-year-old double amputee from Birmingham, UK, Daisy-May Demetre, made her debut at New York Fashion Week Sept. 8, walking for the luxury children's line Lulu et Gigi Couture. Demetre is the first double amputee to model at the New York shows.

Daisy-May was born with fibular hemimelia, where part or all of the fibular bone in the leg is missing. It meant she required a double amputation when she was just 18 months old. She received prosthetic legs and used them to help her walk and move.

Now, she's strutting her stuff down catwalks. Having previously represented Lulu et Gigi at London Kids' Fashion Week, Daisy-May was chosen to walk in the New York show this season. Lulu et Gigi was founded by designer Eni Hegedus-Buiron five years ago and specializes in French-inspired clothing for children.

"We believe that beauty comes first; from within, and our garments are made to enhance each child's uniqueness. (...) Inclusion and diversity are fostered, celebrated and encouraged," the company says on its website.

Daisy-May's father, Alex Demetre, says he has always encouraged her to follow her dreams.

"She inspired me by showing me who she was. She takes on life with a smile on her face and she does remarkable things," he told CNN, adding: "Whether it's dancing, singing, she is a very special little girl."

Daisy-May's New York runway debut was Sunday, but she's been modeling for 18 months already, having worked for Nike, River Island and several other high street brands in the UK. She was even named Child of Courage in the Pride of Birmingham Awards.

"She belongs on the catwalk, you have seen the photos," her father said.

She's "inspiring people" by doing what she's doing, he added, saying she does so with a "smile on her face."

On Sunday, Demetre said his daughter "walked it like a professional and had fun doing it."

Next up, Daisy-May will walk in London's Fashion Week.

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