Acid attack victim appears on catwalk in New York Fashion Week

A woman brutally disfigured in an acid attack took to the catwalk in New York to open a fashion show in her first trip abroad.

19-year-old Reshma Qureshi, from Mumbai, was left with severe facial scars and lost an eye after her brother-in-law and a group of men attacked her throwing acid in her face in Mumbai in 2014.

Teaming up with the organisation Make Love Not Scars, Qureshi opened Indian designer Archana Kochhar and FTL Moda's show during New York Fashion Week on Thursday to raise awareness of the issue.

As she walked down the catwalk, she was met with cheers and applause from the audience.

"After the acid attack happened to me I never thought in my wildest dreams that something like this could happen to me. That I would come to such a big place and walk on such a big stage," Quereshi said.

Reshma Qureshi blogs giving make-up advice to women disfigured by attacks. Credit: Reuters

Qureshi, a fashion blogger, is the face of a campaign to end the open sale of acid in India and appears in videos on YouTube offering beauty tips and make-up advice.

Qureshi said she hopes the event will give girls like her courage. Credit: Reuters

The London-based charity Acid Survivors Trust International estimates there are 500 to 1,000 acid attacks each year in India.

Acid attacks, a particular problem in Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the West Indies and the Middle East, rarely kill but leave severe physical, psychological and social scars.

The overwhelming number of victims are women and children.

It is not the first time FTL Moda has challenged norms of beauty in the fashion world. Last year, the company invited Madeline Stuart, an Australian teenager with Down syndrome, to walk the runway.