Jillian Mercado: Force of Inclusive Fashion

Jillian Mercado is an indomitable Latina model and disabilities activist. She has spastic muscular dystrophy, and has used a wheelchair for as long as she can remember. Jillian has been stigmatized as a disabled person, but it never held her back from making it in fashion, an industry she’s been in love with when she was young.

In 2014, she starred in a groundbreaking campaign with Diesel. The ad shows Jillian in her element — gorgeous, unapologetically herself and showing her disability for everyone to see and embrace. Jillian has also modeled for brands like Olay, Nordstrom and Target and has appeared on the cover of Teen Vogue’s September issue.

Jillian is a fierce advocate for people with disabilities. Through her work, she wants people who may be going through the same journey to feel that they are valued, loved and worthy of being alive.

Follow Jillian on Instagram @jillianmercado and twitter @jilly_peppa


This episode is sponsored by DiveIn, a mobile app that makes it easy for anyone to do more good in their local communities.

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Maverick Aquino