Model Born with "Cat Eye Syndrome" Stars in Stunning High-Fashion Photo Shoot

"This collaboration has been the most beautiful whirlwind of my life."

Caitin Stickels, 29, is a Seattle-based model/actress/singer who was born with Schmid-Fraccaro, or Cat Eye Syndrome–a rare chromosomal disorder which can cause facial disfigurements such as a cleft palate and an absence of tissue from the colored part of the eyes which gives them a "cat-like" appearance.

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While Stickels may not conform to the fashion industry's "traditional" beauty standards, she's currently featured in an absolutely stunning editorial for V magazine, having been discovered on Instagram and then shot by much-famed photographer Nick Knight.

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"Working with Nick Knight at SHOWstudio for V Magazine was something I couldn't have even dreamed of, to be perfectly honest," Stickels wrote in a profile for the magazine. "I never dreamed of being a model or being a part of the fashion industry. I always admired from afar and meanwhile tried to recreate my own expressions through fashion, photography, and art... This collaboration has been the most beautiful whirlwind of my life."

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"I did expect to see something epic—and they went far and beyond what I could have imagined," Stickels added of the shoot. "I don't want to say that this was MY dream come true, because I think working with Nick Knight is anyone's dream that I never dared to actually have myself... [he] opened eyes, they opened minds, and they gave this world a chance. They both have done the same with me and I'm still processing that it's now my reality, too. "

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See more of the stunning photos at Vmagazine.com.

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