TikTok Sisters Celebrate Down Syndrome Representation With New York Fashion Week Debut

Photo: TikTok / Instagram
TikTok Sisters Emily And Sarah Carolyn

The TikTok sister duo, Sarah and Emily Carolyn are diversifying the fashion industry as Emily became the youngest ever model with Down Syndrome to walk in New York Fashion Week. 

Sarah Carolyn is a content creator on TikTok who has over 2 million followers and is known for making sweet videos with her sister Emily.

The pair have amassed a huge fandom that has even followed them to NYFW.

Sarah posted a video on TikTok of the two walking on the runway which garnered more than 2 million views.

Sarah and Emily Carolyn celebrated Down Syndrome awareness at NYFW.

Emily chose to wear a pink t-shirt that read “Disabled is not a dirty word” with gray leggings and black sneakers. On the other hand, Sarah wore a white t-shirt with a long skirt adorned with mini chains and swords.

   

   

While Sarah’s outfit was picked for her by a designer, Emily’s wasn’t.

Emily chose from a collection offered to her by designer Jaqueline City as she wanted to portray herself in something she found herself comfortable in

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She also didn't have any makeup on or style her hair. Sarah mentioned in another one of her videos that Emily doesn’t like other people touching her hair and skin. 

Sarah felt pride in her sister’s choice of wardrobe and mentioned that they were breaking barriers and expectations that lie within the fashion industry. 

She commented on her video, “Expectations that: You just look, walk and dress a certain way. Well, that’s what we are changing. The everyday person is worthy of walking this runway.”

However, Emily’s fashion choice wasn’t well-received by everyone.

Many people questioned why Emily wasn’t dressed up like Sarah and why their outfits were so different.

Sarah answered those questions in another one of her videos and explained Emily’s choice. Her caption on the video read, “Emily advocated for herself.”

   

   

She explained that along with not liking make-up, Emily also has a skin condition where most clothes make her feel uncomfortable.

Then she brought up the question of why Emily should be forced to wear something uncomfortable. 

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She further gave the perfect definition of what fashion should be. "Fashion is a form of self-expression so we should love what we wear,” she said.

“So why would we put people in clothes that don’t make them feel comfortable or don’t make them feel like themselves."

Designer Jacqueline City also spoke about working with Sarah and Emily.

City posted a video on her TikTok explaining her intent and inspiration behind those outfits. 

She mentioned that Sarah and Emily’s outfits represent their story. City talked about how Sarah’s outfit represents her past struggles and the fact that she overcame them.

   

   

She mentioned that Sarah’s skirt had many tiny swords and chains. The fabric was also cut up and stained, however, this can only be seen up-close. 

She said, “If you look really closely, there’s a lot of imperfections but, if you look far away, she kinda looks like a princess.”

On the other hand, City didn’t design Emily’s outfit but rather gave her a few options as she was well aware of Emily’s skin condition. 

She mentioned that she wanted Emily to have the freedom to choose her outfit. 

She said, “Her sensory issues are part of her story and I want to recognize that and draw attention to the fact that, that is an accommodation that a lot of people need, comfortable clothing.”

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Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer who covers entertainment & news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.

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