It’s always a memorable experience to watch a rising star make their first appearance at fashion week, an explosive culmination of their hard work in the craft and dedication to mastering the smize. But when that person also happens to be a trailblazer for a majorly underrepresented community, that moment is more than just iconic: It’s one that will go down in history, and that’s precisely true about Jillian Mercado’s NYFW debut last month at The Blonds’ Fall 2020 show.

“Knowing that somewhere, someplace there’s a younger me freaking the hell out that she sees herself on the runway [is mindblowing],” Jillian tells Teen Vogue. “For those who were obsessed with fashion and would put on our moms shoes and wear red lipstick when we weren’t supposed to…to now see different sizes, different heights, different ethnicities, different countries, all in one [runway]…it’s…

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