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Little Treasures Magazine
April/May 2011
Page 134

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NZ Womans Weekly : 7th January 2008

Nikolai the super model...
Landing the job as the face of a top kids clothing line is a dream for most child models. But its even more amazing for little Nikolai Piskulic, the cute star of the Jack & Abby clothing catalogues.
The gorgeous 17-month-old is proof that having Down Syndrome is no obstacle to success  even for a toddler.
Nikolais modelling career began when his parents, Brett and Jacqui, answered an ad in the Auckland Down Syndrome newsletter looking for a child to be the face of Jack & Abby clothing.
Jack & Abby founder Kara Subritzky says she placed the ad because she felt that children with a disability were only seen in advertisements for related charities.
When Jacqui (38) saw the ad her first reaction was that it had to be a mistake.To us, Nikolai is very beautiful, but I couldnt quite believe that theyd want him to be a model," she says.
We knew that Nikolai had Down Syndrome before he was born, and our friends and family adore him for who he is.
But it was hard for me to know how other people would perceive my child, and I was a bit worried about that."
It took some convincing from Brett (42) that the ad was aimed at parents of kids with Down Syndrome. I thought it was fairly obvious thats what they were looking for!" laughs Brett.
The couple sent in a photo of Nikolai, who was then just three months old, but didnt expect to hear back.
They were thrilled when Kara contacted them and said shed love to have Nikolai model her range.
I was so excited, remembers Jacqui. But on the day of the photo shoot I felt really nervous. I said to Kara, If it doesnt work out, you dont have to use the photos.
But Nikolai did such a fantastic job that he became the star of the Jack & Abby catalogue and when Kara decided to increase the age range of the line, she asked the Piskulics if he would model again.
I didnt hesitate at all the second time, says Jacqui. I guess we were more certain about how he would be perceived. Nikolai is who he is and modelling is an opportunity to show that hes a normal, cute little kid.
The Down Syndrome isnt who he is. A lot of it comes down to peoples attitudes. Its just great to show people that regardless of Nikolai having Down Syndrome, he can still be a model.
The response to the modelling has been overwhelmingly positive, says Jacqui. A lot of peoples reaction was, Why dont more companies do things like this?
As to what the future holds for Nikolai, Brett and Jacqui arent sure if hell do any more modelling, but theyre definitely open to the idea. We dont want to limit what he can do," says Brett.
Its about not putting a ceiling on him, adds Jacqui. Not saying, You cant do this because you have a syndrome.
I always want Nikolai to be proud of who he is."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published Letters, from Readers, NZ Womans Weekly 28th January 2008 

FeedBack

ROLE MODEL:  Letter of the week...
It is interesting to see pictures of celebrity children but much more impressive and endearing to read about a local child who is so inspirational.  I love the way that his parents are celebrating Nikolai's difference and feel happy to share this with others.  We want to see more of these gorgeous people who face personal challenges and find ways to turn their circumstances around.  My three little girls loved the story about Nikolai and learned a bit more about how all people have their own special magic, no matter what.  Can't wait to see Nikolai in print for Jack & Abby.          ~ Avalon S, Warkworth

 

Little Nikolai Piskulic is simply gorgeous! My blonde, blue-eyed toddler has tried modelling but she is very shy, hates all the attention and just cries! Little Nikolai is big on personality and it shines
through in his pictures. The fact that he has a syndrome is just not an issue.
I'm sure this happy little boy will have along career ahead of him with all that star quality, and well done Jack & Abby founder Kara Subritzky for your open minded approach to discovering new talent! You are a role model for other companies who should definitely follow your lead.          ~ Alison W, Auckland

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