There aren’t many options for abandoned youth, when they are deemed too old to stay at the orphanage. In an environment where female orphans are just numbers that eventually fade to black in a cold system, and forced into prostitution to escape poverty, Fior Mendez has beaten the unlikeliest of odds. The 22 year old Dominican beauty moved to New York just two weeks ago, thanks to a friend and member of The Orphaned Starfish Foundation, in hope for a better life. Well, she can consider her mission accomplished. Fior is now a bonafide supermodel, and stomped the runway Friday night for Nzinga Knight at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week.
The designer explains the casting call that changed Fior’s life:
“Just as my third casting session was about to be over, Fior Mendez walked in the room and did her walk and had this wonderful expression on her face, plus natural beauty. I was sold.”
Fior is quickly becoming a fashion darling, and has caught the attention of the nation. Now that she’s in the spotlight, she wants to shine it on the orphans who need the support she was afforded, so that they can have the opportunity to pursue their dreams:
“I want to be a light for those kids. I want to show them that if you are dedicated, you can do something, and that even if you’re sad, you always have hope.”
Check out more photos of fashion’s new Cinderella, and her humble beginnings.