Meet the model with a bionic arm walking in New York Fashion Week
New York Fashion Week is officially underway in the fashion capital of the U.S. And while the event is considered a holy grail for fashionistas and celebs, the NYFW runway is creating a big opportunity for one model.
28-year-old Rebekah Marine will hit the catwalk Sunday in the FTL Moda show.
But Marine isn’t your average model – she wears an i-limb quantum prosthetic hand.
Marine was born without a right forearm, but dreamt of being a model from a young age. After being told repeatedly her disability would prevent her from chasing her dreams, she went to school to pursue a career.
But four years ago the aspiring model was fit with a prosthetic hand and decided to chase her dream.
“Being a model with a disability has been extremely difficult over the past couple years,” Marine said in an interview with Mashable earlier this month.
“Agencies often won’t even look at my portfolio. But I’ve come to realize it’s all about finding your niche. I’ve accepted that most clients may not want to work with me based on my ‘disability.’”
In February, Marine appeared on her first NYFW catwalk and appeared in Nordstrom’s 2015 anniversary catalog.
The model also works with Touch Bionics, the company who makes the i-limb quantum prosthetic hand. The prosthetic is considered one of the more advanced, thanks to its gesture control system.
According to the company’s website, the prosthetic is the first to allow the wearer to change grips with a simple gesture. The prosthetic can be pre-programmed with a selection of grips and the wearer can control those grips through an app on their smartphone.
The hand works via two electrodes in the prosthesis that make contact with the muscle in her upper arm. When she contracts her muscles, the electrodes pick up that signal and tell the hand to open or close.
Marine will be joining other models with disabilities on the FTL Moda runway, including 18-year-old Madeline Stuart, a model with Down syndrome.
Marine also works with the Lucky Fin Project, an organization that raises awareness and support for those with upper limb differences, and documents the stories on her Instagram account.
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