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Acid Attack Survivor Reshma Qureshi Slays at NYFW

Acid Attack Survivor Reshma Qureshi Slays at NYFW

19-year-old Reshma Qureshi opened the FTL Moda show during New York Fashion Week on Sept. 8, empowering and inspiring women all across the globe. She looked regal in the long-sleeve white gown with embodied panels, designed by Archana Kochhar.
However, there was a lot more to this show than glamour and vanity; there was a strong message to promote a ban on the sale of corrosive substances which are used to harm thousands of women and children each year — one of whom was Qureshi.

The fashion show was a part of a campaign, #IAmNYFW — which aims to increase diversity in fashion. She was asked to appear in the show to draw attention to the impact of acid attacks.

The Indian model and activist survived a horrifying acid attack two years ago by her estranged brother-in-law and two other men, where she suffered severe facial burns and lost an eye.
After going through severe depression, many skin graft surgeries, and contemplating suicide, she met with Ria Sharma, the founder of “Make Love Not Scars,” a group that helps survivors of gender-based crimes. They helped her regain her courage and fight for justice so that these attacks can come to an end once and for all.
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Qureshi never imagined she would get to travel to the United States, and walking down the runway at NYFW made her ecstatic. “I couldn’t believe it was happening to me,” Qureshi said, referring to the trip.
The fashion show was a part of a campaign, #IAmNYFW — which aims to increase diversity in fashion. She was asked to appear in the show to draw attention to the impact of acid attacks. 
“This walk was important to me, because there are so many girls like me who are survivors of acid attacks — and this will give them courage,” Qureshi said, according to the Associated Press. “And it will also go to show people who judge people based on their appearance that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover — you should look at everyone though the same eyes.” 

“This walk was important to me because there are so many girls like me who are survivors of acid attacks, and this will give them courage…”

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She hopes that her time on the runway will inspire and give courage to other acid attack survivors and urge other countries to regulate the sale of cheap and easily available acid.
“The Supreme Court of India already banned and regulated the sale of acid in 2013,” she told photographer Lela Edgar, “so all we need is implementation at this point of time, and I do think that it’s possible in the future; I have been campaigning for the last year.” 
Hopefully her empowering message brings forward the change that needs to be implemented as well as her vision for a more peaceful country with no more acid attacks.
FTL Moda has always had the aim of increasing diversity on the runway, and this year Reshma Qureshi was the star. “I think this is a powerful tool, ” FTL Moda founder Ilaria Niccolini said, “I think it can make a change for the better.”
 

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