Laura Winson and Zoe Proctor, models of inclusion in fashion


Laura Winson (left) and Zoe Proctor, founders of the Zebedee modeling agency.

Zebedee is not a model agency like the others. When she embarked on this unique adventure in 2017, Laura Winson was a social worker. His business partner, Zoe Proctor, is a former model turned acting teacher. As part of their activities, they are regularly in contact with people with disabilities, while their common passion for fashion leads them to make this observation: people with visible disabilities or skin diseases are not represented.

Model Ellie Goldstein, carrier of trisomy 21, on the cover of “Fabulous”.

The two Britons then open their company, in London, which only employs models confronted with the gaze posed on their difference. “More and more agencies were promoting plus-size models, but few of them models with disabilities. Why not help redefine beauty standards? », explains Laura Winson. Although the candidates are numerous, the first years are difficult, because the brands do not seem interested. But, in the summer of 2020, a digital campaign by Gucci, in which the model Ellie Goldstein, carrier of trisomy 21, appears, goes viral. “One of our greatest victories, remembers Laura Winson. Ellie is one of our first talents. This campaign revealed her to the general public and she even made magazine covers. »

The following year, the British Fashion Council nominated Zebedee for the Game Changers award, which recognizes innovation in fashion. She doesn’t pick it up, but the doors open: Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss have recourse to Brinston Tchana, a motor handicapped person in a wheelchair; Burberry chooses the young Iona Hay, whose right leg has been amputated and wears a prosthesis, for its 2022 shoe campaign. “Each model is unique. A victory for one of our models is for all the others”, concludes Laura Winson. Today, the agency represents more than 500 models in New York, Tokyo or Berlin, while waiting to make, who knows, a breakthrough in Paris.

Model Iona Hay, right leg amputated.

The Instagram account of the Zebedee agency


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