Fashion Week

Acid Attack Survivor and Runway Model Reshma Qureshi Wins NYFW

Indian teen Reshma Banoo Qureshi walked the runway last week and reminded the world that every year, hundreds of women are victims of acid violence

Acid attack survivor NYFW

Acid attack survivor Reshma Banoo Qureshi walks the runway at NYFW (Photo: Trevor Collens/AFP/Getty Images)

Two years ago, Reshma Banoo Qureshi’s brother-in-law threw acid in her face, and the 19-year-old has been working to raise awareness around this type of gender-based violence ever since. She first made headlines last year when she posted an online beauty tutorial that called out the fact that buying acid in India is as easy as buying red lipstick. The video went viral and now has almost 2 million views.

Last Thursday, she and her cause got a another big boost thanks to NYFW, where she walked in Indian designer Archana Kochhar’s spring ’17 presentation.

After working with Make Love Not Scars, an NGO that helps survivors of acid attacks take back their lives, Quereshi was invited by another organization, FTL Moda, to open the show. The New York-based production company strives to challenge beauty ideals in the fashion industry, and helps designers find diverse models to walk their runways. In past seasons, it’s helped cast models with Down syndrome as well as congenital amputees, but Qureshi was the first acid-attack survivor.

In a statement made in July, FTL Moda said they wanted “to give voice to these amazing women who have been silently suffering, hiding, and too often depriving themselves of the opportunity to declare how beastly, and cruelly they have been attacked.” Mission accomplished: absolutely stunning images of Qureshi flooded the internet after the show.

Watch Qureshi find out that she’s headed to NYFW—which was also the first time she travelled outside of India—below:

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