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Caitin Stickels

Caitin Stickels, 29, is a Seattle-based model/actress/singer who was born with Cat Eye Syndrome – a rare chromosomal disorder which can cause facial disfigurements such as a cleft palate and an absence of tissue from the colored part of the eyes which gives them a “cat-like” appearance.

i felt that Lee Alexander McQueens birthday was the proper day to honor this gorgeous photograph taken by the brilliant @nick_knight for @vmagazine. while pumping through a stunning spiral of different spring looks, i remember when @nick_knight and @kjeldgaard1 were discussing “should we finally do the McQueen gown?” and my heart leaped. i wanted to stay quiet, as i usually do, but the kitten in me mewed and i said “ive been waiting for this. please, oh please, yes McQueen.” and not long after that, i was in this gown, luckily for longer than i had thought because we wanted to get the set up purrfect – but then i never wanted to take it off. i shed a tear up there and felt so blessed in that moment. the visions of Lee McQueen and his creations for @alexandermcqueen have inspired me for as long as i could remember. i cherish and treasure the inspirational person that he eternally remains to be for me. he left left such a beautiful impression on us all and was truly one of a kind. im so grateful to have been adorned in one of his masterpieces, at thw very least, and shot by someone who i think deserves to honor that memory with me the most. thank you @nick_knight. ✨🌸💙🌸✨

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While Stickels may not conform to the fashion industry’s “traditional” beauty standards, she’s currently featured in an absolutely stunning and unusual editorial, having been discovered on Instagram and then shot by much-famed photographer Nick Knight.

“Working with Nick Knight at SHOWstudio for V Magazine was something I couldn’t have even dreamed of, to be perfectly honest,” Stickels wrote in a profile for the magazine. “I never dreamed of being a model or being a part of the fashion industry. I always admired from afar and meanwhile tried to recreate my own expressions through fashion, photography, and art… This collaboration has been the most beautiful whirlwind of my life.”

“I did expect to see something epic—and they went far and beyond what I could have imagined,” Stickels added of the shoot. “I don’t want to say that this was MY dream come true, because I think working with Nick Knight is anyone’s dream that I never dared to actually have myself… [he and V magazine have] opened eyes, they opened minds, and they gave this world a chance. They both have done the same with me and I’m still processing that it’s now my reality, too. “

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I firmly believe that there's no shortcut to success. Working for an organization like this has helped me gain the kind of experience which takes a lot of time to grasp. Every day is a new day with new learning experience. I love what I do and I feel proud to be who I am now.