Meet Mercy and her Big Sister, Hannah

Hannah is a 22 year old Fashion Media and Promotion student who has just finished university. Her final project was inspired by her little sister, Mercy…

“My main inspiration for this project came from my youngest sister, Mercy, who is a nine year old fashion-lover who has Down’s Syndrome.

I planned to create a ‘Young Kool and African’ fashion show for a diverse group of young children with and without disabilities, to celebrate the beauty of African culture through fun and educational means. For example: a fashion show, African potato printing, Africa map outline painting, bead making and so on. This came from a conversation I had with my grandma who still lives in Nigeria who was showing me photos of her in her turban at my parents’ wedding.

Covid-19 meant my event plans had to change and I decided to do the project at home and with my sister – we tied turbans and created some fun portraits. I loved these so much I turned into campaign posters to celebrate both the beauty and talent that children with Down’s Syndrome have, and the ways in which African culture can sometimes perceive disabilities both in Africa and here in the UK.

Click the images below to take a closer look at Hannah’s posters.

I edited them into public spaces to get an idea of what they would look like. After doing some research, the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA), would be my dream partner for the project which is why I used the logo in my posters. Mercy, our mother and I are so thrilled that the DSA saw the images on Instagram. The images below are to demonstrate what the posters will look like. 

As part of my project I have recreated the home page of the DSA website and added a page of fun things for people to do at home from my original workshops. This includes a pack that people can download to put on their own ‘Young, Kool and African’ events in the future.

As I have worked through my project I have become so passionate about promoting the diversity of those who have Down’s Syndrome and have plans to create family workshops celebrating style from all cultures; from African to Bulgarian to Indonesian and would love to expand and create my campaign of posters along these lines.”

We think you’ll agree that Hannah’s work is amazing and impactful! We wanted to ask Mercy some questions to learn more about her life and the two sisters kindly recorded this interview for us. You will find out what Mercy wants to be when she’s older and what her favourite film is. Enjoy!

You can also learn to tie a turban with Mercy and Hannah here: