Beyonce has enlisted a wheelchair bound model with spastic muscular dystrophy to star in her latest merchandise campaign.
Jillian Mercado, a 28-year-old from New York, was photographed modeling slogan sweatshirts, tees, and hats featuring lyrics from Beyonce’s hits singles 7/11 and Formation.
Rising star: Jillian Mercado (center) appears in Beyonce’s latest merchandise campaign on her website alongside two other models
Queen Bee slogans: The 28-year-old, who was diagnosed with spastic muscular dystrophy as a child, modeled shirts and sweatshirts featuring lyrics from the singes hits Formation and 7/11
In one image, Jillian can be seen posing in-between two other models while rocking a gray ‘I Twirl On Them Haters’ sweatshirt and a white baseball cap with the words ‘Hot Sauce’ on it.
‘OK ladies now let’s get in Formation!’ Jillian wrote. ‘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.’
Costa Rican photographer and filmmaker Daniela Vesco shot the playful photos, which feature two other models.
And Jillian can also be seen rocking a black hooded sweatshirt with 7/11 lyrics splashed down the front and a cheeky T-shirt featuring a photo of Beyonce in a suit of armor among other items form the new collection.
Feeling thrilled: Jillian took to Instagram on Tuesday to share photos from the shoot and express how excited she is to be featured on Beyonce’s website
Buzzworthy: Beyonce released the music video for her hit song Formation in February
Jillian, who studied merchandising management at the Fashion Institute of Technology, spent four years commuting to the school’s Manhattan campus through a series of multiple bus and subway transfers because the city’s mass-transit system is only partially wheelchair accessible.
After scoring internships with Veranda magazine, Allure, and society photographer Patrick McMullan, Jillian started writing about fashion on her blog Manufactured 1987.
The style blogger broke into the modeling world in 2014 when she was chosen to star in Diesel campaign featuring 23 tastemakers of her generation.
The diverse ad sees her posed alongside visual artist James Astronaut in a denim dress, bright red lipstick and her signature platinum blonde hair, with her electric wheelchair on display.
Changing the industry: Jillian, who is pictured at an event in 2015, studied merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City before becoming a style blogger
Big break: Jillian, who is pictured at the Diesel flagship party (L) in February and at The Plaza Hotel earlier this month (R), started modeling after being chosen to star in a 2014 ad campaign for Diesel
Power couple: Beyonce and her husband Jay Z are pictured watching the Oklahoma City Thunder play the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center earlier this month
‘[My aim is to give] hope to people who are maybe saying, “My life is over” because they are disabled. You can totally do it, nothing should be stopping you,’ she told Daily Mail Online of the campaign.
The New Yorker went on to appear in Nordstrom ads and editorials in Carine Roitfeld’s CR Fashion Book, and last year she was signed by IMG models, the agency behind Gigi Hadid, Gisele, and Kate Moss.
‘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,’ she told Vogue last August. ‘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.
‘There is still so much change that needs to happen, but I want to make way for whoever has that mind-set that I had when I was younger. I want the people who were hesitant in pursuing fashion because of the way that people might perceive them to know there is a place for them.’