CAITIN STICKELS, 29, WAS BORN WITH SCHMID-FRACCARO, A RARE CONDITION ALSO KNOWN AS CAT EYE SYNDROME. THE MODEL STARTED A CONVERSATION ON DIVERSITY, AND SUBVERTED BEAUTY STANDARDS, SHOWING IT CANNOT JUST BE A PERFECT COMBINATION OF CHROMOSOMES.
Do you manage to turn your diversity into a strength?
Yes. Absolutely. But that’s easy. Diversity is a strength. Those who don’t see that before their very own eyes are left more vulnerable and weak than they even know. I was born the way that I am not much has changed, other than my self-respect, as it usually does grow with age for most people anyway.
What is beauty for you?
Authenticity. Have you ever met someone who shined so much from the inside as well as the outside that it was just like having the sun as a friend? It’s like that…When people are beautiful, they shine.
What is your greatest fear?
Stagnation. And I suppose this could be said in all areas of life, personally as well as worldwide.
You usually use Instagram. Do you want to convey something to your fans?
Hopefully they’ll gather what I’m trying to say in my Instagram. If they don’t yet, they either soon will or won’t. I like to allow people to think for themselves.
Do you like fashion? Would you like to collaborate with a particular artist or designer?
I would have said Lee Alexander McQueen in less than a heartbeat before he died. He was my one and true inspiration in fashion. I’ve never seen anyone with a soul quite like his, let alone in the fashion industry. He put the passion in fashion. But I’d also so dearly would love to work and collaborate with Jean Paul Gaultier, Issey Miyake, Christian Lacroix, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Vivienne Westwood, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Junya Watanabe any day.
What do you hope for your future?
I hope to make the world shake, to wake up and break a little. Once we break, we know what it’s like to be whole again. The world has thoroughly forgotten how to be whole. so let’s shake it a little. I’d like to fulfill my dreams of living a contented and magical life without compromising who I am for the sake of anyone else’s approval.
Have you achieved your dream?
No. I don’t think I ever will, personally. I’m never going to stop. I don’t see this as aiming for my dreams. I never have. I see this as living my dreams for as long as I’m alive. Working with Nick was proof that it’s working. He’s been a part of my dream for as long as I could remember but I never thought I’d actually be so lucky as to have me join his dream, too.
If you weren’t Caitin, who would you be?
I wouldn’t. I would be a cat. Life has been interesting enough. A cat’s life seems like a nice break.
Photos courtesy of Caitin Stickels