St. Louis-based Missouri Historical Society preserves clothing of trailblazing model Grace Strobel | Style

Photo by Trenna Travis

As the first American model with Down’s Syndrome to represent an international skincare line, Metro-area resident Grace Strobel is making history while making a name for herself. The St. Louis-based Missouri Historical Society documents his accomplishments by adding seven of the garments donated by Strobel to its permanent collection.

“It was important to the Missouri Historical Society team to incorporate Grace’s clothing into our permanent collection for several reasons,” Adam MacPhàrlain, curator of clothing and textiles for MHS, said in a press release. “Firstly, because these garments share the story of Grace – a local woman who is doing an amazing job with both her modeling career and her public speaking.

“And second, when collecting around disability, we often rely on stereotypical representations of living with a disability, such as collecting mobility devices or T-shirts promoting disability rights and recognition. They are important pieces to collect, but they are also important to show the diverse and active lives of people with disabilities. The clothing Grace donated demonstrates her career and personal style and does not focus on Down syndrome as a negative.

Grace Strobel was born in Newport Beach, California, raised in the metro area and now lives in Chesterfield with her parents. At 21, she launched her own modeling career when portraits she posted on Facebook went viral, garnering more than 220,000 shares worldwide. Her mother, Linda Strobel, had arranged the photoshoot with local photographer Trenna Travis after her daughter expressed interest in modeling. News outlets, beauty companies, and clothing brands have noticed its potential.

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