Boy with Down syndrome becomes latest River Island model

Joseph Hale appears in River Island’s latest campaign. (Photo: River Island)

A child with Down syndrome has been hired as a model by the clothing company River Island. U.K.-born Joseph Hale was recruited by the high street fashion brand for its latest children’s campaign, and the 11-year-old has been credited as an inspiration for promoting equality in the fashion industry.

“Disability should not define them,” Joseph’s mother, Karen, told the Grimsby Telegraph. “Joseph is a person. His Down’s is a small part of him. There is a lot more to see than the face value.”

Karen continued, “They have a physical disability, yes, but people have preconceived ideas — you need to see the person beneath. There is a lot they can teach others about not taking things for granted, and they don’t judge anybody. They still have the same thoughts and feelings and dreams.”


Joseph is no stranger to fame, having bagged his first major gig with the Zedebee Performing Arts Group when he auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent.

The director of Zedebee, Zoe Proctor, told the Grimsby Telegraph, “He has done extremely well, and we are very proud of him. This is a great way to celebrate diversity in the fashion world.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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