A two-year-old girl with Down’s Syndrome has defied the odds and become the face of a new children’s fashion campaign.
Little girl Eleanor Manton, from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, was recently chosen to front JoJo Maman Bébé’s autumn/winter 2020 catalogue.
She was spoted by scouts from the fashion chain on her family’s Instagram account, which documents the family’s journey.
A JoJo Maman Bébé spokesman said: “We saw Helen, Eleanor’s mum, had tagged us in some photos on her Instagram.
“Helen takes great pictures and Eleanor is beautiful so we got in touch to see if they would like to take part in the campaign.
“Their photos are amazing, just what we were looking for, it looks like they had a lot of fun.”
The company quickly got in touch with Eleanor’s mom, Helen Manton and asked if Eleanor would like to be involved their campaign.
Helen said she was thrilled when she received JoJo Maman Bébé’s email.
“Early in lockdown I was posting normal every-day stuff from her then one night I looked at my emails and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I got an email from JoJo asking if she’d be in the autumn/winter 2020 campaign. I was ecstatic, I was literally jumping for joy, it was amazing.”
She said: “When I saw those campaign images I don’t think the phrase ‘bursting with pride’ cuts it.”
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Blue eyes 💙 Tomorrow this crazy haired Goldilocks is having a trim… it’s been almost a year since her last haircut and it’s very much overdue. We’ve opted for a mobile hairdresser and the lady will be cutting Eleanor’s hair in the back garden. We’re the first appointment of the day and she assured me that she wears full PPE – two masks and new apron everytime, plus sterilises her scissors and comb between visits 😅 putting this anxious mother at ease!
“Eleanor’s a fun-loving little girl, she’s just a joy from the moment she wakes up to the second she goes to bed. She’s absolutely transformed our lives for the better.”
“Just seeing her little beaming face, she’s just a ray of light, was incredible, it makes me really, really proud.”
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Our New Autumn collection has arrived and for this season our customers took the camera! 📸 Find out more about one of our models Eleanor: "Eleanor is an excitable and loving 2 year old. She loves being outdoors and had so much fun while taking these photos for JoJo, especially when she got to throw leaves around. Eleanor has thrived during lockdown and started walking in the first few weeks. She mainly communicates with Makaton and is obsessed with Mr Tumble." @the_mantons
Due to the ongoing pandemic, Helen had to take the fashion shots at home using her iPhone. The family was sent some of the company’s latest items for Eleanor to model for the shoot.
“A couple of days later lots of lovely clothes arrived and we started taking pictures.”
Helen took the photoshoot while her husband Craig did silly dances to keep their girl entertained.
Helen said she and Craig were delighted with the results. “I couldn’t believe it was there in front of me, it’s amazing.”
“Eleanor loves it, she was looking at herself in the catalogue and saying ‘that’s me’ in Makaton [signs and symbols which help people communicate and develop spoken language], I just love the fact that she’s old enough to recognise herself.
“We’ll always have that catalogue and can show it to her in 20 years’ time.”
The couple believes that this is a major step in helping gain acceptance for kids who are born with Down’s Syndrome.
“It’s great to see children like Eleanor being given the space and the opportunity to be in the limelight,” Helen said. “The more people like Eleanor are out there in mainstream inclusive fashion then the better it will be”
She added: “It’s unbelievably important for people with Down’s Syndrome to be seen in the mainstream media.”
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