NewsPinellas County


St. Pete model with cerebral palsy is new face of Surf Style beach shops ad campaign

Andrew Brettner says "everybody" should be seen
Posted at 4:41 AM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 07:29:56-05

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. — Andrew Brettner has a million-dollar smile and great hair.

Those are solid attributes when you're an aspiring model.

The 25-year-old St. Petersburg man also has cerebral palsy, a disability not normally seen in major ad campaigns.

But no matter, Brettner and his power chair just starred in a fashion shoot for Surf Style beach shops. The three-hour session took place on the beach access mat on Treasure Island.

"It's really cool I'm doing this," Brettner says. "I feel happy inside."

Brettner's modeling gig was set up by Help Us Gather (HUG), a nonprofit that advocates for inclusion of all people.

"Everybody who works hard enough should have an opportunity to achieve their dreams," says HUG's Ashley Richmond.

"Anybody can do what they want to do, but you have to give them the chance," adds Surf Style's Joseph Chaney.

Brettner was chosen for the ad campaign for the regular model reasons, including looking super-cool in beach clothes. His pictures will soon be seen in stores and online. Surf Style has a history of featuring people with special needs in their ads.

But HUG also wanted to focus on the issue of mobility, and the lack thereof for one in seven adults in the United States.

"It's important to see people represent reality in marketing," says Richmond.