Mommyish Exclusive: Mother Of Down Syndrome Model Tells Us How It All Began

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Mommyish: What was the experience like on set? How was it working with Dolores Cortés?

CE: Unbelievable. We went in saying, Okay, let’s see how she handles it, we’ll just go step by step. But it was almost like Valentina was programmed to model. She was amazing! They spent two hours taking photographs in 90-degree weather. She didn’t cry, didn’t complain, just kept smiling. Also, she couldn’t wear diapers while in the bathing suits, and it’s amazing that she didn’t pee!

Mommyish: I see that Valentina also appeared on the catwalk with Dolores herself at the end of her fashion show.
CE: I was afraid because there was loud music, lots of people, cameras flashing – you never know how a baby will react to that. But Valentina smiled, she looked at the cameras…

Mommyish: She’s a natural.
CE: So long as she’s happy… Agents have already contacted us asking to represent her, which is amazing to us. We’re in the midst of a media storm. But once it settles, my husband and I are going to sit down and think if it’s something we really want to do, or continue to do. If Valentina seems happy, then sure. If it’s too much for her, we’ll leave it as is and just be grateful that we helped get the word out to change perceptions of Down Syndrome. We’ll see what happens in the future.

Mommyish: Are you hoping this will inspire other designers and other brands to follow suit?
CE: Absolutely. Not only with babies but with adults, too. And not just designers but any brand. [Dolores’ campaign] reflects how we are as a society. Every single person is different. Down Syndrome becomes normal once you see it in the media or on TV or anywhere, really. Hopefully one day it will become the norm.

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