Local Teen with Special Needs Models in LA Fashion Week

Tami Eugenio-Ferreira was born with right-side hemiplegia cerebral palsy, and pediatricians assumed it was likely she would never be able to sit, walk, or talk after brain trauma at birth caused infant cognitive and developmental delay.

Now 18 years old, Tami has defied the odds, as she confidently demonstrated in an audition submission that landed her a spot on the runway at LA Fashion Week (LAFW) 2021. While most submissions included a professional portfolio, Tami’s series of cellphone glamour shots are what caught the judges’ eyes. The fashionista put together edgy, stylish ensembles from her own closet and opted for minimal makeup. In one standout shot, she holds a handbag in her right hand—making it look easy although it is her paralyzed hand. In her video, Tami expressed her passion for fashion and ambition to model specifically at LAFW to represent the inclusive community while walking in 5-inch wedge sandals despite her gait and limp, further proving her worthiness to casting judges.

Closing out the event on October 10th, Tami’s dreams were realized as she strutted the LAFW runway at the Petersen Automotive Museum for streetwear designer Nicholas Mayfield (pictured bottom right). Especially proud to represent her community along with other inclusive disability models, Tami praised the world-renowned fashion event for its progressive approach in a challenging, cutthroat industry.

A recent graduate of Calabasas High School, Tami now attends the Las Virgenes Unified School District’s post-secondary education program for special education students on the Agoura High School campus. While being selected for LAFW was an incredible honor, it is only the beginning for Tami as she pursues her aspiration of becoming a supermodel while blazing the trail for other young women with disabilities.