A popular beachwear company based in Hollywood, Fla., launched a new ad campaign featuring its first model with Down syndrome.
Surf Style, whose first store opened in 2011, noted their belief in the importance of representation, diversity and inclusion in their latest ad campaign centered around Ethan Holt — a 16-year-old model who happens to have Down syndrome.
On the site’s blog, the company wrote about how they jumped on the opportunity to work with Ethan not only to set an example of inclusion, but also because of his “incredible charismatic personality and love of the camera.”
Ethan, a Florida native, has a lot of experience under his belt: he swims for his high school’s swim team and for the Florida Division of the Special Olympics. Ethan is also on the Special Olympics paddleboard team, which is why Surf Style believes his active lifestyle is great representation for the brand.
Ethan realized his potential to model through a nonprofit organization known as Help Us Gather. HUG is an organization that dedicates its time advocating for inclusion, which is why they partnered with Surf Style to include Ethan in the new campaign.
Now, Ethan is receiving a lot of attention from his modeling endeavor. “My friends on the swim team and a couple of girls, even my coach knows, say I’m a famous model now.” Ethan told Surf Style.
According to Surf Style’s blog, Ethan says he is now “ready to be a model.”