Puerto Rican model Sofía Jirau has made history by becoming the first person with Down syndrome to pose for Victoria’s Secret.
Jirau, 24, is featured in the lingerie brand’s new campaign for its Love Cloud underwear collection.
“One day I dreamed about it, I worked on it and today it’s a dream come true,” she wrote on Instagram in Spanish after the campaign launched. “I can finally let you in on my big secret… I’m the first Victoria’s Secret model with Down Syndrome!
The model is featured alongside 17 other women in the campaign, which Victoria’s Secret described as a “first of its kind” for the brand as part of its drive to be represented by a more inclusive and diverse range of women.
According to her website, Jirau made her modeling debut at New York Fashion Week two years ago.
“Modeling in the United States was the beginning of my dream of being a model that I had had since a young age: to model on the most important runways in the world”, indicates the site.
“For me, the most important thing in achieving my dreams is showing people around the world that there are no limits and inspiring them to pursue their own dreams.”
She also launched her own clothing and accessories line in 2019, Alavett, named after her favorite phrase, “I love it.”
The campaign comes after Victoria’s Secret announced a major overhaul to its branding and management team last year, following years of criticism from lawyers demanding it increase the size of offers and show more diverse bodies. The brand was known for modeling its merchandise on invariably tall and thin “angels” that reflected near impossible body standards for consumers.
“Love Cloud Collection is a major moment in the evolution of the brand,” said Raúl Martinez, the brand’s new creative director, in a press release. “From the cast of incredible women who bring the collection to life, to the incredible inclusive spirit on set, this campaign is an important part of the new Victoria’s Secret normal we are creating.”