A year ago, Daisy Demetre was promised by her dad that she would be “the most inspiring double amputee that ever lived”.
On Saturday, as she literally cartwheeled down the runway at London Fashion Week, even he couldn’t believe everything that had happened in the previous 12 months.
When he said the words, neither Alex Demetre, 36, nor eight-year-old Daisy had any kind of plan.
“I promised she was going to be the most inspiring double amputee that ever lived without knowing how,” he told the Press Association. “Then we found modelling.”
In the intervening time, Daisy – who was born with fibula hemimelia, a birth defect which causes babies to be born with some or all of their fibular bone missing – has done more then Alex imagined possible.
She has modelled all over the country and even overseas, for brands like River Island, Boden, Primark, Matalan and more. She’s even done a TEDx talk.
Over the weekend she made her third Fashion Week appearance. Not content with simply walking down the catwalk, she threw in a cartwheel for good measure.
Alex said: “To have the confidence to do that was just amazing. If she wants to be a supermodel, who am I to tell her she can’t?”
Birmingham-based Daisy was modelling for Panda London, a children’s clothing brand which puts diversity at the heart of everything they do.
Panda co-owner Jen Jones said they put out a call “actively encouraging children who are differently abled to apply”.
She told the Press Association: “We also wanted children who represented the brand personally so we also invited children from council estates and children from diverse backgrounds.
“We believe everyone needs to be represented and we will always provide a platform for inclusive diversity.”
Alongside Daisy on the catwalk was Katie Renshaw, an 11-year-old model with cerebral palsy who was unable to walk until life-changing surgery a year ago.
On Saturday, she needed only a stroller for support to help her navigate the catwalk in her second show for Panda.
“She loves it,” Katie’s mum Clare Millerick told the Press Association. “She said it was just the best weekend of her whole life.”
Both Katie, from Cheshire, and Daisy are represented by Zebedee Management, an agency that specialises in representing diverse models.
And Jen believes that displaying diversity in their shows is essential for brands.
“This is the real world,” she said. “These people are out there and they deserve a platform.
“If you’re not representing them, if you’re not putting them in your clothing, I don’t see why they should shop in your store.”