By Charley Sutton
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Videographer / director: Bahareh Hosseini
Producer: Nathalie Bonney, Ruby Coote
Editor: Grant Hanson-Vaux
Five years ago, Chiara Bordi, from Tarquinia, Italy, was involved in a terrible moped accident, that lost her her leg.
But instead of hiding her prosthetic from the world, the 17-year-old proudly wears a prosthetic covered in sparkling crystals.
She told Barcroft TV: “I never thought someone like me could be a model. After the accident I’d never even thought about becoming one.
“I was coming home from a dance recital with my friends. I was on a moped sitting behind my boyfriend and when we approached a crossroads a car was driving the wrong way and drove straight into the left side of the moped.
“My foot was crushed, I was screaming. A helicopter took me to the hospital. I looked at my foot, there was too much blood. I knew deep down that my foot was in such a bad condition, it had to be amputated.
“I remember everything vividly, I could never forget it. The pain was indescribable. It was the most pain you could ever feel.”
After a 12 hour operation, surgeons were unable to save Chiara’s leg.
She said: “I cried my eyes out because it was what I expected. I was going to dance class before but I had to stop dancing after the accident.
“It took nine months to be able to walk again.”
Now, Chiara can not only walk but could be taking to the catwalk, after a designer got in touch with her to create a one-of-kind prosthetic.
Chiara said: “The prosthetic I wear when I’m modelling was designed by a woman from Campobasso, in Molise in Italy. One day she wrote to me about a new design she was working on. The new prosthetic was highly decorated and visual.
“She asked me to model it in photos. Everything began from that moment onwards.
“I’d say that the first time I felt I looked good, was an amazing feeling.
“The first photoshoot was strange, having a prosthetic on show that was all done up. But from that moment onwards, and from building up experience, I found the belief that I could do it.
“I rarely get negative comments from people. But if I do hear something or get a funny look I know it’s their problem, not mine."
Chiara’s talent has been recognised by Models of Diversity, the campaign to encourage brands and publications to use more diverse models.
Founder, Angel Sinclair said: “I think what make Chiara such a good model is her confidence, she doesn’t let her disability hold her back. I think without a shadow of a doubt one of the London agencies is going to take her.
And Chiara's latest modelling shoot was for clothes brand, Missguided, as part of their #keeponbeingyou series.
Alongside her modelling, the teenager is also concentrating on her studies, with the hope of becoming an orthopaedic doctor.
Chiara said: “There are certainly some positive outcomes from the accident. It made me grow up and see life in a completely different light.
“Beforehand I took things for granted. In that sense, I feel a lot stronger than before.
“There are a lot of things I can’t do, but in reality these are minimal compared to what I can do.
**CONDITIONS OF USAGE: For more information on Models of Diversity, visit: www.modelsofdiversity.org**