A face of courage: Acid attack victim walks in New York Fashion Week

  • Acid attack survivor Reshma Quereshi walked at the prestigious New York Fashion Week
  • She opened for India fashion line Vaishali Couture
  • Quereshi caught the attention of FTL Moda, a fashion production company that challenges stereotypes of beauty when she was the face of the ‘Make Love Not Scars’ campaign

Indian teenager Reshma Quereshi’s world turned upside-down when she was attacked with a concentrated sulfuric acid by her own brother-in-law and his accomplices while on her way to school in Allahabad, India  in 2014.

Quereshi survived the attack by three assailants which left her face disfigured and one of her eyes permanently damaged.

After the incident, Quereshi suffered from physical and psychological pain, so a modelling gig in the prestigious New York Fashion week was such a far-fetched idea at that time.

“I couldn’t believe it was happening to me,” Quereshi said. “In that moment I felt extremely happy.”

The 19-year-old model caught the attention of FTL Moda, a fashion production company that is known to challenge industry stereotypes of beauty and has previously featured models with disabilities, amputees and those with crutches, when Quereshi became the face of the ‘Make Love Not Scars’ campaign that aims to help survivors of gender-based crimes, as per an article published by Telegraph.

Quereshi stars in the ‘Make Love Not Scars’ online video campaign, which has been viewed by more 1.3 million people and led to her stint in New York.

In the fashion show, Quereshi opened for Vaishali Couture which is considered as one of the most significant fashion lines in India.

Quereshi hopes that her turn on the catwalk will inspire hope and confidence in other acid attack survivors and spur countries to regulate the sale of cheap and easily available acids.

“No one else understands what an acid attack is except the survivors themselves,” she said. “I do not want this to happen to anyone else.”