Company slammed after using child with Down syndrome for fashion campaign

Valentina Guerrero chosen to model swimwear 
By: Eva Fett 

A designer for a popular swimwear brand hand-picked a 10-month-old with Down syndrome of Miami, Florida, to be the adorable face of the latest fashion campaign.

Young Valentina Guerrero will be the main model in advertisements for DC Kids, the children’s line of clothing from Spanish designer Dolores Cortes.

"People with Down syndrome are so beautiful and deserve the same opportunities," Cortes said in a statement. "I am very excited to have Valentina model for us," Cortes said.

A smiling Guerrero can be seen in a pink floral swimsuit. She was featured on the cover of the DC Kids Summer 2013 catalog.
Cortes showed off the latest model in a fashion show in Miami on Friday, bringing the child to the fashion catwalk.
Guerrero, who was born with Down syndrome, is the daughter of Cecilia Elizalde and Juan Fernando.

Elizalde, who has created a Twitter account for Valentina, said that the decision to allow Cortes to work with her daughter has a "clear message".

"I am very happy that DC Kids USA chose Valentina as their main model because it carries a clear message of inclusion and begins to change the old perception of Down syndrome, leading to a necessary transformation in society," Elizalde said.

"As a mother, I am incredibly proud of what my daughter has achieved in less than a year," she said.

U.S. DC Kids will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from their latest collection to the Down Syndrome Association of Miami.