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Cool New Diesel Ad Features Blogger in a Wheelchair

Ever since Nicola Formichetti took over as artistic director at Diesel last spring, he’s promised a “reboot” of the brand, and it looks like the first stages of that have arrived:  WWD reports that the Italian fashion house’s spring/summer 2014 ads will feature Jillian Mercado, a 23-year-old fashion blogger who uses a wheelchair.

The campaign, which was shot by Inez & Vinoodh and styled by Formichetti, features 23 models from more than a dozen different countries. “I was looking for a rebellious attitude,” Formichetti told WWD, citing Mercado, who made waves at Fashion Week last year, as an inspiration.  The New York native, who has spastic muscular dystrophy and has been in a wheelchair since age 12, is an FIT graduate and the blogger behind the site Manufactured 1987. “It’s never easy for her to move from point A to point B, but she’s totally fearless,” Formichetti said, explaining that the new campaign is about community — hence the tagline, “we are connected.”

“You don’t have to be a conventional model type to represent a brand,” he said. The new campaign is a refreshing departure from other ads — and will appear in March issues of Vogue and Interview. Click through our slideshow to see this and more spring campaigns.

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