Teen model with Down syndrome featured in new Gucci ad campaign

Ellie Goldstein is one of the faces of Gucci's new "Unconventional Beauty" ad campaign, which celebrates "non-stereotypical beauty."
The British model is one of several faces of the new Gucci campaign.
The British model is one of several faces of the new Gucci campaign.David PD Hyde / Vogue Italia
/ Source: TODAY
By Chrissy Callahan

Ellie Goldstein has dreams of becoming a supermodel — and at just 18 years old, she's already making a mark on her industry.

The British model, who has Down syndrome, has three years of experience under her belt and now she's also one of the faces of Gucci's new "Unconventional Beauty" ad campaign, which celebrates "non-stereotypical beauty."

Back in November, Gucci and Vogue Italia joined forces during the Photo Vogue Festival to scout Instagram for emerging talent for a digital editorial about unconventional beauty and inclusiveness. Goldstein was one of several models selected for the project and her images are nothing short of stunning.

The 18-year-old told TODAY Style she's excited for the world to see the inspiring campaign now that it's finally live.

"I love the photos," she said in an email. "They show my true personality and how professional I am in front of the camera. It means so much to me that I was chosen for this. I feel proud of myself."

Goldstein hopes to serve as a role model for other women with disabilities.David PD Hyde / Vogue Italia

Goldstein has had modeling aspirations since she was a child and hopes the Gucci campaign inspires other women with disabilities to reach for the stars. "I feel that I have shown the world to follow your hopes and dreams," she said.

The "Unconventional Beauty" campaign features several other models, including plus-size advocate Enam Asiama and French model Jahmal Baptiste.

Goldstein has worked for the modeling agency Zebedee Management for three years and the group told TODAY Style her Gucci campaign is a step in the right direction for both the advertising and beauty industries.

The campaign images are stunning.David PD Hyde / Vogue Italia

"Inclusive casting for campaigns, such as Ellie’s brilliant Gucci Beauty one, exemplifies the want and need for further action," the company wrote in a statement. "The success and amplification of the campaign over social media has been astronomical for Gucci Beauty, which we hope encourages other brands to follow suit. Ellie’s success has turned her into a role model for many young disabled people, which we hope allows us to access a more inclusive and beautiful future."

Gucci joins a growing list of brands who are implementing more inclusive ad campaigns. In 2019, Benefit Cosmetics introduced makeup lovers to Kate Grant, a 20-year-old model with Down syndrome. Aerie featured a range of models with disabilities in a 2018 bra campaign, including Chelsea Werner, a Paralympic gymnast who has Down syndrome. The same year, Gerber also announced that Lucas Warren would be the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome.

With her career on a roll, Goldstein doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon, and she's set some big goals for herself.

"I would love to work for Gucci again and other high-end brands and be on the front cover of magazines," she said. "I hope to be famous."