Beyoncé Taps Jillian Mercado, Model with Muscular Dystrophy, to Star in New Merchandise Campaign
A wise singer once said that girls run the world, and she’s putting her merch where her mouth is. Beyoncé unveiled her latest merchandise offerings tied to her latest new single, “Formation,” and among the models is Jillian Mercado, a wheelchair-bound model with muscular dystrophy. If you’re not familiar with Mercado’s work yet, allow us to bring you up to speed.
In an Instagram post revealing the news, Mercado shared her delight at her latest gig, “OK LADIES now let’s get in FORMATION! So BEYond excited to finally announce that I’m on the official @beyonce website!!! A special shout out to Queen Bee herself and the amazing team behind it.”
OK LADIES now let's get in FORMATION! So BEYond excited to finally announce that I'm on the official @beyonce website!!! A special shout out to Queen Bee herself and the amazing team behind it 👑 Photography by the most wonderful @danielavesco, Makeup @jamiebeaute, & Hair @jenniferjocelyn 🐝 #slay #formation #jillianmercado
She models three different slogan sweatshirts (including a saucy “Fresher Than You” design). And there is plenty of other Bey-utiful merch to score too, including slogan tees, caps, a phone case and of course, the perfect bag for storing hot sauce.
Mercado is a blogger-turned-model whose resumé has exploded in the past two years, having landed major fashion campaigns for Nordstrom and Diesel and modeled in issue 7 of CR Fashion Book. She was signed to modeling powerhouse IMG in 2015, alongside stars including Chrissy Teigen and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
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At the time of her Diesel campaign in 2014, she told the Today Show, “I was really nervous. I will not sugarcoat that one,” Mercado said. “They made it extremely comfortable to be there. I’m always behind the camera, never in front of it. I didn’t want to mess up.”
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Since then she’s become a total pro, taking the fashion world by storm and making some monumental changes along the way. Last year she told Vogue her long-term modeling aspiration. “Working with IMG, my goal is to make it so that I am not the model in the wheelchair and I’m just the model,” Mercado explained. “If I can do big shows like Alexander Wang or Chanel and not be seen as the token girl, that goes a long way toward challenging perceptions.”
What do you think of Beyoncé’s new merchandise (and fab new face)? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
— Colleen Kratofil