If you’re a reader of fashion blogs or like to blog about fashion, you’ve probably heard of NY native, fashion editor and twenty-something model, Jillian Mercado. Forever upbeat and stunningly fierce, this woman is taking the fashion industry by storm and changing the standards of modeling.

Jillian has spastic muscular dystrophy, rendering her unable to walk. Not letting that stop her, Mercado has made amazing accomplishments such as graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, interning at Allure magazine and Veranda magazine. She has also been a creative assistant for PMc magazine, a contributing writer for Beautylish.com, and is currently the Executive Editorial Director of WeTheUrban. Not letting the reporting of fashion stop her from modeling it, she even recently represented the Nicola Formichetti fronted Diesel clothing brand in a series of highly publicized ads for their #DIESELREBOOT campaign. This could have led to her being signed with Red Model Management, but it’s doubtful. Jillian Mercado is proving that there’s nothing you can’t do without hope, belief, and determination.

She is truly an (extremely well dressed) inspiration.