Jack Eyers is a catwalk star with a difference.
The 25-year-old model from Bournemouth has been challenging stereotypes by becoming the first amputee to ever walk at the prestigious New York Fashion Week, before hitting the catwalks in London and Milan
Jack was born with two legs, but suffered from a degenerative condition called primal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD). The condition causes a deficiency in the femur bones, meaning that Jack’s femur, knee joint, hip and muscles didn’t develop properly on his right leg.
Because of the insecurity and discomfort the condition caused Jack, he made the brave decision to have his right leg amputated as a teenager.
He explains, ‘Growing up with a disability massively affected my confidence. I used to try it and hide it any way I could.’
‘It was awful. I had no inspiration, I was alone – fashion was out the window! I just wore two pairs of trousers to cover my leg and a hoodie over my head.’
‘The doctors told me I had to finish growing before they would even think about the measurements of amputating my leg.’
‘When I was 16 I electively had it amputated. I chose to have it amputated, it was completely my choice and the best decision I’ve ever made as well.’
After his amputation, Jack got into fitness and eventually started working as a personal trainer – a job he loves.
He says, ‘I find the job very rewarding. The success stories are what keeps me motivated to keep personal training.’
‘Eventually I want to focus on just working with amputees because I think I can really offer them something special.’
And it’s Jack’s impressive fitness level and physique that helped him to achieve his lifelong dream of being on the cover of Men’s Health magazine.
He says, ‘When I see photos of myself as a model I’m very proud. I’m always very proud.’
‘The strangest thing for me was when I was on the cover of Men’s Health. That was my lifelong dream – even when I was a kid at school I was like, ‘I would love to be on that!’
Alongside his job as a personal trainer, Jack also works with the charity Models of Diversity, who campaign for more variety in the fashion industry.
The charity’s aims are very close to Jack’s heart, as he admits that being an amputee has made it harder for him to break into the modelling industry.
He explains, ‘being a disabled model, I guess you do have to work harder than most other models because you’ve got a lot to prove.
‘I’m sure there have been occasions when I’ve been singled out or treated slightly differently because of the amputation, or even prior to the amputation.’
‘I’m quite blunt, if I feel like I’m being singled out I would probably say.’
‘I’m very upfront about my leg as well. Ask whatever questions you want, I don’t mind.’
‘I never thought I would ever be a model. I didn’t even think it was an opportunity for me.’
But for now, the future looks very bright for Jack!
He says, ‘I have set myself a few goals for this year. I want to get signed by a modelling agency – I would like to get a contract. I think it’s about time.’
‘I think the biggest things that needs to change in the modelling industry to ensure that there’s more diversity is use more diverse models.’
Good luck Jack!