Jillian Mercado, a 26-year-old fashion blogger decided to try out for a casting call with Diesel. She noticed an ad for a casting call for models on the brand's Facebook page, according to a Jan. 23 report by Yahoo! Shine. She didn't let muscular dystrophy get in her way.
The blogger is now the new face of the spring/summer 2014 ad campaign. She's also the brand's first model that's in a wheelchair.
Mercado told Yahoo Shine, "I've always wanted to be in the fashion world, despite the obvious obstacles in my way, but I try to have a strong and positive attitude."
Mercado wears a denim dress in the ad. She poses next to visual artist James Astronaut, who's responsible for the campaign. Mercado stands out with her short platinum blond hair and red lipstick.
She admits that she was nervous for the photo shoot. "I was super nervous for this shoot because I"m not used to being in front of the camera," she said.
Diesel has a history of pushing boundaries and challenging stereotypes in the fashion industry. The company searched for "real" models in August. They included a plus-size model with pink hair, a 65-year-old fashion editor, and a female Olympic swimmer who typically poses as a male model.
Jillian Mercado was born and raised in New York City. She's currently an editorial director at We the Urban, an online art and fashion magazine. She's volunteered at New York Fashion Week and covered photo shoots for photographer Patrick McMullan.