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Beyoncé recruits wheelchair-bound model to front new line

CHANGING THE FACE OF FASHION: Blogger and model Jillian Mercado

R&B SINGER Beyoncé has added a new face to front her latest Formation merchandise on her website.

The chosen beauty is Jillian Mercado, a blogger turned model who was diagnosed with spastic muscular dystrophy as a child.

Mercado was cast as a new face of Beyoncé’s online store, where she can be seen modelling the T-shirts, hats and sweaters that comprise the pop star’s new line of merchandise.

Mercado announced the news through her social media channels: “OK LADIES now let’s get in FORMATION!” she wrote on Instagram. “So BEYond excited to finally announce that I’m on the official @beyonce website!!!”

The image she posted features her in a wheelchair alongside two other models. Mercado is wearing a “hot sauce” cap and a sweater emblazoned with the line “I twirl on them haters” - references to Beyoncé's Formation lyrics.

Mercado, who has modelled for Diesel under Nicola Formichetti and Carine Roitfeld's CR Fashion Book, signed with IMG Models in August last year.

She told Vogue at the time that fashion was always something she was extremely passionate about, but was skeptical about immersing herself into a world she wasn't sure would accept her. "At first I was very hesitant," she told the magazine.

"I wasn't sure about showing everyone my world because I didn't know if there would be an audience. We've been brainwashed [as a society] not to care about someone who has a disability, or their world."

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