A disabled British schoolgirl will make history when she becomes the first child double amputee to walk the catwalk at New York Fashion Week.
Nine-year-old Daisy-May Demetre was chosen to appear for French-inspired fashion line Lulu et Gigi Couture, after its founder spotted her modelling in London.
Her appearance at the prestigious New York Fashion Week on September 8 will mark the first time a child double amputee has starred in the show.
The Birmingham schoolgirl is also set to strut her stuff in Paris Fashion Week at the end of next month.
Daisy-May was born with fibular hemimelia, where part of the fibular bone in the leg is missing, which led to her legs being amputated.
Her parents Alex and Claire, both 37, were given the difficult choice between watching between watching Daisy-May grow up with deformed feet she couldn’t use – or allow a double amputation.
Hoping prosthetics would give her a better quality of life, she had her left leg removed below the knee, and the right leg removed above the knee, when she was just 18 months old.
But they never dreamed that their daughter would become a fearless gymnast, as well as a model for Britain’s largest clothing catalogue, Boden.
Since taking up modelling, Daisy-May has also worked for Nike and Matalan, and represented Lulu et Gigi at London Kids’ Fashion Week.
Proud dad Alex Demetre said: “[Daisy is] going to be making a little bit of history.
“It is a good thing she is first to do it, but going forward we want child amputees all the time to be modelling at these shows.
“Disability doesn’t stop you; it definitely doesn’t stop Daisy. She is fitter than most grown men I know.
“But the modelling doesn’t define Daisy, it is just a part of what does.
“She just does Daisy, it is the way she goes about life with a smile on her face.”
Alex and wife Claire were shocked to learn that Daisy-May had grown abnormally at a baby scan – when a doctor crassly informed Claire the child would “have no legs”.
Later they learnt that Daisy-May’s limbs had not developed as they should have done – as one foot only had two toes, while the other was just a ball with a little toe coming off it.
Alex said: “We had the choice for her to live like that, with no quality of life, or to go for the operation.
“We didn’t know at the time that Daisy-May would be as good as she is now.
“At the time I was pretty isolated myself, I had a drink problem and gambling addictions.
“That has all changed around – that’s down to her taking each day with a big smile on her face.
“She motivates me and I motivate her.”
She got her big break in modelling when Alex was watching daytime TV when he had the day off.
He watched a feature with a modelling agency, Zebedee Management, which casts children with disabilities in ad campaigns, and got in touch on a whim.
Alex said: “She inspired me by showing me who she was.
“She takes on life with a smile on her face and she does remarkable things.
“Whether it’s dancing, singing, she is a very special little girl.
“She belongs on the catwalk, you only have to see her photos to know that.”
From their Daisy-May’s career sky rocketed, and she has been inundated with interest from people wanting to cast her as a model or in ads.
Lulu et Gigi founder Eni Hegedűs-Buiron said: “I was asked if I was OK with having an amputee walk in my show.
“To be honest I was surprised by the question. For me, a child is a child and thus is beautiful and perfect.
“So of course I said yes.”