Lauren Wasser is officially our hero. Not that we’re models, but we’d imagine that when one relies on their body for a living, the devastation that goes along with losing a limb is pretty damned high. So for this particular model to work her way back up to the catwalk after losing her leg to toxic shock syndrome in 2012, and to make her return at New York Fashion Week of all places… well we hold her in the highest regard possible.
Wasser made headlines last June when she went public with the fact that she’d lost her leg after coming down with a mysterious illness that wound up being a bacterial infection from — you guessed it — a tampon. Since then, she’s become a poster child of sorts for TSS, raising awareness with women who don’t think twice about leaving a tampon in for hours on end and even going on to sue Kotex, the brand responsible for her illness.
Until now though, Wasser has only posed for her girlfriend, Jennifer Rovero, posting inspiring pics on Instagram and the like. It’s what the model called “photo therapy” to Vice during a profile the publication did, and it clearly helped her build her way back up to the big leagues. Like New York Fashion Week.
Wasser walked for Chromat, a line that features activewear (perfect for the athletic model), unique lingerie and dresses. Their brand is all about embracing the uniqueness of beauty and to celebrate women in various fields, which made it the perfect venue for Wasser, we think.
In alignment with those messages, Wasser was joined by some other pretty ah-mah-zing women, including the first-ever transgender contestant on America’s Next Top Model, Isis King, and plus-size models Sabina Karlsson and Denise Bidot.
“As fashion designers, we have the power to highlight and celebrate beauty in all different forms. For me personally, Chromat women are doing amazing things in all different fields and come from all different places,” designer Becca McCharen told Refinery29. “We wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate those women and have these incredible women reflected in our runway show.”
We’d say they nailed it on all levels.