Beautiful Daisy Demetree, who had both her legs amputated when she was 18 months old due to a birth defect, has been chosen to model the store’s new girls’ activewear. Daisy, who has two prosthetic legs and is also a keen gymnast, can be seen modelling joggers and T-shirts on River Island’s website. The little girl, from Birmingham, started modelling just six months ago with Zebedee Management, which specialises in working with clients with disabilities. She has since appeared on the catwalk at London Fashion Week and done a number of shoots with some of the biggest retailers in the UK.
“She is a wonderful example to us all that no matter what life throws your way we can choose to make the best of it, that life is fragile and can be short, so live everyday the best you can and take a few chances in life because you just don't know where it will lead,” said Zoe Proctor, of Zebedee Management. “She and all our other models are our passion and our drive and the reason we work so hard behind the scenes, so we can help make dreams become realities for some of the best people we know.”
Daisy, who has two sisters and a brother, was born with fibular hemimelia, which is a birth defect where all or part of the fibular bone is missing. The condition was picked up while she was in the womb at her 20-week scan.
Her dad Alex said: “The fibular bones are missing in her legs. There was one tiny fibular bone on one side and the other side was completely missing. It was heart breaking. Her feet never formed properly and came out like a ball. The best choice was to have a double amputation.”
Daisy had the operation when she was 18 months old, but her disability has not stopped her and she is also a talented gymnast and goes to the gym three times a week. She now has two sets of prosthetic legs, blades and basic ones. She started modelling six months ago after her dad had the day off work and saw Zebedee Management on the television. He suggested modelling to Daisy and she decided to give it a try.
“I am so proud of Daisy, she has achieved so much in six months already and is a real inspiration,” said Alex. “She has always been amazing and now she has walked into the modelling world and is doing well there too. There’s no stopping her.” Alex said that they have never treated Daisy any differently and have always encouraged her to follow her dreams. He said: “I made her a promise that I would help her be the best model she could possibly be and told her that I will get her in the high street shops pictures everywhere exactly what we are achieving right now. So we sent some photos to Zebedee Management and the dream started. My original statement which I stick by now is that she will be the most influential inspiring double amputee to have ever lived. The support we get through Instagram from other disabled and non-disabled people is what we are about helping to put smiles on faces and inspire people to push and follow your dreams.”
Zoe Proctor, of Zebedee Management, added: “River Island and Zebedee Management have worked closely together during all their diverse campaigns which have been release over the past 18 months, they genuinely care about representing diversity and differently-abled models as the norm which is how every big fashion company should be. We speak regularly about how to get the best out of our talent and they have really listened which has made some incredibly positive shoots for everyone involved.”