Teenager, 13, with vitiligo breaks barriers in the modelling industry as he stars in Primark’s latest campaign – after ‘Gap turned him down’

  • Kaiden Williams suffers from vitiligo stars in the latest Primark campaign  
  • He was allegedly turned down by Gap for a previous modelling job  
  • The campaign has received high praise from customers on social media 

A teenager with vitiligo has landed his first major modelling job with Primark – after Gap allegedly turned him down.

Kaiden Williams, 13, has got used to seeing his photo on huge 10ft posters all over the UK after the major clothing giant selected him to be part of its recent campaign.

The teenager, from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, was first diagnosed with the condition, which causes white patches to develop on the skin due to a lack of melanin, aged four but decided to stop having treatment to prevent it as a seven-year-old.

Mother Dominique Williams wants her son to inspire other young people especially to be proud of who they are no matter what they’re going through.

Kaiden Williams, who suffers from vitiligo, landed his first major modelling campaign with Primark earlier this month

The 13-year-old, who was allegedly turned down by Gap, stars in the budget fashion chain’s latest children’s campaign

Dominique, 31, said: ‘Kaiden is a very humble boy.

‘He doesn’t really know why everyone is making a big deal but I think he will when he’s older. He doesn’t realise the impact he’s having.

‘I definitely believe he will inspire others through this – and make other children more confident.’

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Dominique sends Kaiden’s first big modelling gig, and he is already receiving plenty of recognition.

After disappointment came when clothing competitor Gap allegedly turned him down, he was swooped up by a casting agency which led to his discovery by Primark, who offered him two modelling bookings.

MailOnline has contacted Gap for a comment. 

His proud mother Dominique (pictured with Kaiden) describes her son as a ‘humble boy’ and says that she hopes he will inspire others 

Kaiden (pictured with his campaign online) chose to stop having treatment for his skin condition at the age of seven

Dominique, who works with children who have mental health issues, added: ‘He’s online on the Primark website and he’s on 10 foot posters at every Primark in England.

‘I’m so proud. I’m probably more excited than him. He doesn’t see it as a big thing and doesn’t really get it yet.

‘Kaiden is very naturally confident and has never really been bullied for his skin.

‘He’s had the odd comment now and then, as I’m sure most children get, but never any real bullying.

‘He’s had the condition since he was four and it’s forever changing.

‘But this past year it’s seemed a lot more steady. I think it might stay this way now.’

From the age of seven, up until last year Kaiden travelled with his mother to hospital three times a week to undergo UV therapy in a bid to treat his skin – until he decided he didn’t want to carry on.

The poster appears online and in stores across the UK and has been commended by shoppers 

Fans of the high-street chain took to social media to express their delight at seeing the inclusive advert. One wrote: ‘Well done Primark. Need all such businesses to make this the norm’

Kaiden already has a few other modelling jobs in the pipeline, but when not in front of the cameras he’s out on the pitch playing football with Rushall Olympic three times a week, and also boxing once a week.

After securing the deal with Primark, keen footballer Kaiden hopes to continue with his modelling work for a range of companies, and is happy with his first big break.

His mum added: ‘He just said he didn’t want to do it anymore and that this was who he is, he didn’t want to change.

‘He said he was comfortable with how he was.’

The campaign by the budget fashion store has received heaps of praise from shoppers when it was launched earlier this month.

‘We need more of this. Well done Primark,’ wrote one user, while another who spotted the advert said: ‘this is why representation is so important.’ 

Delighted that the latest campaign encouraged diversity, one customer commended the chain and wrote: ‘This is great. I’d love to see more of this. I’d also love to see disabled people, such as wheelchair users in their ads.’

Someone else penned: ‘Well done Primark. Need all such businesses to make this the norm,’ while another added: ‘Well done and hope other big retailers will follow. Brilliant.’ 

What is vitiligo?  

– Vitiligo is a disease in which the pigment cells of the skin are destroyed in certain areas of the body.

– Although the exact cause is unknown, experts say it is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s defense system mistakenly attacks and destroys certain cells within the body.

– It’s not painful and doesn’t have significant health consequences, but it can have emotional and psychological consequences.

– Treatment ranges from medicines and creams to skin grafts.

– Common areas for white patches are the armpits and groin, around the mouth, eyes, nostrils, navel, genitals and rectal areas.

– Symptoms include loss of skin color with white patches of skin in any location on the body.

– Most will develop the condition prior to age 40. About half develop it before age 20.

– It may have a genetic component, as the condition tends to run in families.

Source: Medicine Net


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