Belfast Telegraph

Tyrone model Kate wants to be world's first supermodel with Down's Syndrome

Kate Grant
Kate Grant
Kate Grant modelling at Belfast Fashion Week
Kate Grant
Kate Grant.

By Lisa Smyth

A Northern Ireland woman says she is setting her sights on becoming the world's first supermodel with Down's syndrome after becoming the face for a global beauty company's latest marketing campaign.

Kate Grant (20) from Cookstown, Co Tyrone, has taken the fashion world by storm with her sass, attitude and natural talent.

And now she has achieved what many believed was impossible by becoming a brand ambassador for cosmetics giant Benefit, which sells its make-up products at over 2,000 counters in more than 30 countries across the world.

The brand invited Kate to take part in a photoshoot and film footage as part of its marketing campaign for its latest product, a liquid eyeliner.

An image of Kate posted on Benefits' official UK Instagram page has been 'liked' nearly 4,000 times, with many users praising the make-up brand for its inclusivity and one person describing the model as an "inspirational young lady".

However, not content with her already amazing achievement, Kate has set her sights on working in the biggest fashion shows in the industry.

"You should always follow your dream," she said.

"I want to be the first supermodel with Down's syndrome, the sky's the limit.

"I'm not stopping now, I want to go to London, Paris and Milan."

Kate was first approached in September by a representative from Benefit.

The company had spotted a video of Kate on social media charting her attempt to break into the fashion industry and instantly fell in love with her spirit and determination.

Kate's mum, Deirdre, said: "I have been doing Kate's social media and they had contacted us on Instagram. It was actually Kate's younger sister who had said it was a message from an official account and I should follow it up.

"I got in touch with them and we messaged back and forward until we agreed on a date to go over to London to meet everyone for a photoshoot and to film the video.

Kate Grant on the catwalk last night
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"We weren't able to say anything until there was an official announcement, so that's been really difficult."

Kate and Deirdre then travelled over to the trendy London district of Shoreditch.

"The hotel we stayed in was incredible, the shoot was brilliant," revealed Deirdre.

"The atmosphere was brilliant and they really got the best out of Kate.

"She was so relaxed and she was delighted with the photographs.

"She actually had everyone up twerking at one stage, it was just such a wonderful experience."

A spokeswoman for Benefit said the company decided to partner with Kate because of her "infectious" energy.

"We discovered Kate by chance in the summer of 2018 when we saw a Facebook video about her journey to becoming a model," she said.

"We fell instantly in love with her.

"Her amazing energy was so infectious and we were captivated by her incredible zest for life and determination.

"She embodied everything we stand for as a brand so we knew we had to find a way to work with her.

"The opportunity came along when we were casting for a shoot for our latest product launch, Roller Liner Eyeliner.

"We're truly honoured that Kate was able to join us, and we hope her involvement goes some way to showing that beauty and makeup shots can absolutely feature people from all walks of life.

"The beauty industry is changing and we love that people like Kate are leading the way."

The company also hinted that it plans to work with Kate in the future.

"We'll most definitely be looking to work with Kate again on another campaign," the spokeswoman added.

Kate first hit the headlines after Deirdre put out a plea on social media asking for her daughter to be given experience as a model. She got her first real taste of the glamorous world of fashion thanks to Cathy Martin, who invited her to take part in Belfast Fashion Week in 2017.

Speaking about Kate's latest success, Cathy said yesterday: "I'm delighted for her.

"Kate approaches everything with such joy and gratitude, it's really infectious."

Deirdre continued: "I never thought we would be at a photoshoot for Benefit when I put out my original post on social media.

"This has all been beyond my wildest dreams, but Kate always says the sky's the limit and she's right.

"I am so happy that she has been given this opportunity and I hope that she is showing other people that they should never give up on their dreams either."

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