Victoria’s Secret model Sofia Jirau becomes the first person with Down syndrome to appear in the campaign

This week, 24-year-old model Sofia Jirau became the first person with Down syndrome to appear in an advertising campaign for Victoria’s Secret.

The Puerto Rican model appeared with 17 other women to promote the new Love Cloud collection, which the brand hopes will “reinforce (e) Victoria’s Secret’s commitment to welcoming and honoring all women.” “, according to a press statement.

This group includes both professional and amateur models of all different skin tones, body sizes and ages. Famous faces like Hailey Bieber, Taylor Hill and Adut Akech join Celilo Miles, an indigenous wilderness firefighter who poses with her helmet, and Sylvia Buckler, an accessories designer and is the mother holding the pregnancy bump in her portrait.

Valentina Sampaio, who became the lingerie brand’s first openly transgender model in 2019, also joined the campaign.

On Wednesday, Jirau took to Instagram to express excitement for the milestone.

“One day I dreamed it, I worked on it and today the dream has come true. I can finally share my big secret. I am Victoria’s first Down syndrome model for Victoria. (sic) Secret!” Read the translation of her post. “Thank you to all of you who have always supported my projects. Thank you Victoria’s Secret for seeing a role model in me… and making me a part of the campaign to bring the Cloud Collection. love comes in. This is just the beginning!”

Jirau has been modeling since 2019 and also owns an online store called “Alavett”, a Spanish-British pun for the phrase “I love it”. In February 2020, Jirau became one of the few models with Down syndrome to walk during New York Fashion Week. She emphasizes through her social media accounts that her goal is to encourage others to follow their dreams.

“I always say ‘Within and without limits’ to motivate people to push beyond their self-imposed limits,” she writes on her website.

The diverse new campaign is part of Victoria Secret’s ongoing effort to reform the already narrow sexy image it has cultivated over decades. Following criticism over the brand’s resistance to wider representation and the cancellation of the much-anticipated TV fashion show, Victoria’s Secret signaled last summer that it would focuses on creating lingerie for women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. “The Angels” has retired – as the brand’s supermodels have long been known – to make way for VS Collective, an ambassador program featuring seven women known for their advocacy work including including soccer player Megan Rapinoe and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

Several founding members of VS Collective are currently on the Cloud of Love campaign, including Bieber, Akech, Sampaio and plus-size model Paloma Elsesser.

Creative director Raúl Martinez said in a statement that the campaign was “a pivotal moment in the brand’s evolution.”

He said: “From the incredible female cast that brought the collection to life, to the incredible spirit of inclusion on set, this campaign is a key part of the new Victoria’s Secret standard. that we are creating.

& 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. Copyright Registered. Victoria’s Secret model Sofia Jirau becomes the first person with Down syndrome to appear in the campaign

Dais Johnston

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