Victoria's Secret made quite a splash for the launch of the brand's new Love Cloud collection by hiring the first model with Down syndrome, Sofía Jirau.
The lingerie brand, which has in the past been accused of objectifying women, lack of diversity and promoting an unhealthy beauty standard, didn't stop there. For the launch of the new collection, Jirau was standing alongside 17 other models and 'regular people,' each worth celebrating more than the next.
While browsing online for bras and underwear, you'll most likely recognize famous faces like Hailey Bieber, Taylor Hill, and transgender model Valentina Sampaio, but you'll also see some other faces who probably won't look too familiar—like a mom, holding her baby bump and an Indigenous wildland firefighter, for example.
But let's go back to Sofía Jirau, the undeniable star of this campaign.
Who is Sofía Jirau?
Sofía Jirau is a 24-year-old model born and raised Puerto Rico. She is the second eldest of four children. She began working as a model on her 23rd birthday, on 26 March 2019.
Not surprisingly, it took her only one year to be noticed by the big names in the fashion industry. In 2020, Jirau became one of the few models with Down syndrome to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week. You can watch her strut her stuff in the clip below, posted on her Instagram page.
After that, Jirau could not be stopped—the model has been busy climbing to the top. Her hard work paid off. With the worldwide launch of the Love Cloud collection, Jirau is now the first model with Down syndrome to model for Victoria's Secret.
Jirau wrote on her Instagram:
One day I dreamed of it, I worked for it and today it's a dream come true. I can finally tell you my big secret. I am Victoria's Secret's first model with Down syndrome!
Sofía Jirau, Madeline Stuart, paving the way for more diversity
Jirau is not the first model with Down syndrome to have had a successful career, but there have been far too few.
How could we forget Madeline Stuart, THE first professional model with Down syndrome. The Australian model has walked in Paris, London and New York Fashion Week. Now that's quite a feat!
Stuart and Jirau are paving the way for other people who have been excluded from the conversation because they have not fit the beauty standard.