24-year-old Puerto Rican becomes 1st Victoria’s Secret model with Down syndrome
February 16, 2022, 11:06 PM
Sofía Jirau has made history as the first model for Victoria’s Secret with Down syndrome, after joining 17 other women in launching the brand’s new campaign.
The 24-year-old Puerto Rican model celebrated the milestone on Valentine’s Day following the debut of the Love Cloud Collection, a line of underwear.
“One day I dreamed of it, I worked on it and today it is a dream come true. I can finally tell you my big secret,” Jirau wrote on her Instagram profile in Spanish. “I am the first Victoria’s Secret model with Down syndrome!”
She is also the second Puerto Rican model featured in a Victoria’s Secret campaign, sharing the spotlight with supermodel Joan Smalls.
Jirau’s charisma and infectious personality have taken her far since launching her modeling career in 2019 in Puerto Rico — alongside her own online store “Alavett,” based on a bilingual play on words of her favorite phrase “I love it.”
A year later, she accomplished her dream of debuting at New York Fashion Week, “for which I am proud as one of the few models with Down syndrome who has managed to participate in the important fashion event,” according to her website.
Jirau also launched a Spanish-language campaign of her own called “No Limits“ to demonstrate the capacity of people with Down syndrome to achieve their goals despite their condition.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Down syndrome is a condition in which a person is born with an extra chromosome, resulting in changes to how the body and brain develop, which can cause both mental and physical challenges.
“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,” Jirau said on Instagram. “Inside and out, there are no limits, Alavett!”
She joins the lingerie and clothing giant at a pivotal time as the company tries to distance itself from the once iconic images of Victoria’s Secret angels, and rebrands itself to appeal to all types of women.
The new campaign is the company’s first full-scale collection launch since Raúl Martinez officially became its new head creative director in January.
“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,” Martinez said in a statement.
Jirau shared a video of the campaign on Instagram before the collection hits stores Thursday, captioned, “Hit play so the entire world can see me make history.”
She can be seen sporting a bra “in my favorite color, pink,” Jirau said in Spanish. “I love it, I love it. Victoria’s Secret, I love it!”