Beauty
Victoria's Secret model with Down syndrome shows us how to live life with "no limits"
She's breaking barriers and making history.
Gianella Argao
08.22.22

Sofia Jirau was born to defy incredible odds. She recently made headlines by being the first Down syndrome person to ever join the prestigious list of Victoria’s Secret models.

After collaborating with 17 other influential women to promote Love Cloud, the company’s newest underwear collection focused on all-day comfort, the 24-year-old Puerto Rican officially made history.

She is not about to stop.

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A post shared by Sofía Jirau (@sofiajirau)

“One day, I dreamt it, I worked at it, and today, it’s a dream come true. I can finally share my big secret,” the model captioned on her Instagram in Spanish. “I am the first Victoria’s Secret model with Down syndrome!”

Jirau joins a roster of models, both professional and amateur, of diverse ages, sizes, and skin tones. She is the second model from Puerto Rico to appear in Victoria’s Secret ads. Supermodel Joan Smalls was the first, making her runway debut in 2011.

It’s only been 3 years since she started.

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A post shared by Sofía Jirau (@sofiajirau)

Jirau has come a long way since starting her modeling career in her own country in 2019.

She owns her own online business called “Alavett,” a play on Jirau’s favorite phrase, “I love it.” Everything she offers for sale is imprinted with her trademark business name and a heart doodle, from wallets and tees to phone covers and mugs.

Her success inspires many others.

Jirau is one of the very few models with Down syndrome to walk during New York Fashion Week in February 2020.

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A post shared by Sofía Jirau (@sofiajirau)

“When I was little, I looked myself in the mirror and said, ‘I’m going to be a model and a businesswoman,'” she recalled.

And so she did.

She also started the “No Limits” campaign in Spanish, which tries to demonstrate that people with Down syndrome can succeed despite their disability. She is the disorder’s greatest advocate.

Due to the additional chromosome that Down syndrome patients are born with, their bodies and brains grow differently, causing mental and physical issues.

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A post shared by Sofía Jirau (@sofiajirau)

She didn’t let the disorder stop her.

“Thank you Victoria’s Secret for seeing me as a model who has #NoLimits and making me part of the inclusive Love Cloud Collection campaign,” she wrote. “Inside and out, there are no limits, Alavett!”

Jirau stresses on social media that she wants to inspire others to pursue their aspirations, no matter the obstacles.

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A post shared by Sofía Jirau (@sofiajirau)

Jirau signals the start of a big change.

Victoria’s Secret hinted that it will concentrate on making underwear for women of different shapes and sizes.

The “VS Collective,” an ambassador campaign with seven women recognized for their causes, has replaced the long-standing nickname for the brand’s supermodels, “The Angels.”

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A post shared by Sofía Jirau (@sofiajirau)

This is a huge thing!

“When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond,” Martin Waters, the company’s chief executive officer, remarked. “We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.”

“Love Cloud Collection is a major moment in the brand’s evolution. 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.”

This campaign is such a perfect depiction of Jirau’s advocacy. Indeed, this is just the beginning for the beautiful model!

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By Gianella Argao
hi@sbly.com
Gianella Argao is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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