Sofía Jirau is making history in the modeling world. The 25-year-old woman from Puerto Rico is one of the newest models for Victoria's Secret — and is the first model in the company's history to have Down syndrome.
Jirau announced her new role on Instagram this week, writing in Spanish that it is "a dream come true." Jirau is modeling for the brand's Love Cloud collection.
"There are no limits," she wrote, adding her favorite phrase and life motto, "Alavett!", meaning "I love it!"
The Love Cloud campaign is modeled by 18 women who defy the traditional images that Victoria's Secret and other brands have traditionally included in their ads. Along with Jirau, their campaign also includes Miriam Blanco, who is paraplegic, Sylvia Kwon, who is pregnant, and Celilo Miles, a Nez Perce Tribe-Wildland firefighter.
Jirau made her modeling debut in 2019, and has also modeled at New York Fashion Week in February 2020, saying on her website that she is proud to be one of the few models who have Down syndrome to be able to participate in the event.
She has also launched a worldwide campaign to raise awareness about Down syndrome. The campaign, called Sin Limites, or No Limits, is an effort to show how Jirau and others with Down syndrome are able to accomplish their goals despite any daily challenges they may face, including issues such as a lack of available jobs, independent housing and a more inclusive educational system.
"For me, the most important thing about fulfilling my dreams is to show people around the world that there are no limits and to inspire them to pursue their own dreams," she says on her website. "This is why I always say 'Inside and out there are no limits' to motivate people to break through their self-imposed limitations."
Victoria's Secret announced the debut of their new collection on Valentine's Day, with Raúl Martinez, the head creative director, saying it marks a "major moment in the brand's revolution."
"From the cast of incredible women that bring the collection to life, to the incredible inclusive spirit on set, this campaign is an important part of the new Victoria's Secret standard we are creating," Martinez said.
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