Teen Survives Horrific Acid Attack -- And Owns The Fashion Week Runway

by Talia Koren

New York Fashion Week isn't just a major event for models and designers, it's also a platform for awareness.

Reshma Qureshi, a 19-year-old acid attack survivor from Mumbai, hit the runway for Indian designer Archana Kochhar to raise awareness about the devastating frequency of acid attacks in India.

Wonderful to see Reshma Qureshi on catwalk today in #NYC. We interviewed her here here — viviana mazza (@viviana_mazza) September 9, 2016

Qureshi was attacked in 2014 by her brother-in-law, who doused her face in acid, causing her severe burns and the loss of her left eye. She has now become the face of #EndAcidSale, a campaign that aims to end the open sale of acid in India.

Of course, she totally crushed her walk on the runway in a gorgeous cream gown with colorful panels. You have to love Qureshi's strength. This is more than just a runway walk for her.

She told the Associated Press,

This walk was important to me because there are so many girls like me who are survivors of acid attacks, and this will give them courage. And it will also go to show people who judge people based on their appearance that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover — you should look at everyone though the same eyes.

Qureshi is well known for inspiring courage in many survivors with her beauty videos.

Her work with the Make Love Not Scars charity has brought great meaning to her life after an attack that made her contemplate suicide. The attack changed her life, and she knew she could help other survivors who felt the same way.

The high school student, who had modeled before the attack, was invited to NYFW by FTL Moda, a fashion production company. Its mission is to challenge industry stereotypes of beauty.

Last year, the production company invited Madeline Stuart, an Australian model with Down Syndrome, to NYFW.

Qureshi knows how huge this opportunity is. She said,

I never thought in my wildest dreams that something like this would happen to me, and that I would be coming to such a big place to walk on such a big stage.

You can see a video of her walk, below.

Citations: 'I feel brave': Indian acid attack survivor wows New York with catwalk debut (The Guardian)