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Sofía Jirau made history this year by becoming the first Victoria’s Secret model with Down syndrome.
The 25-year-old took to Instagram in February to reveal that she, along with 17 other women, had joined the fashion brand for a new campaign, the Love Cloud Collection.
“I can finally tell you my big secret,” the Puerto Rican native wrote in her post. “I am the first Victoria’s Secret model with Down syndrome!”
The model told Fox News Digital that she feels “very happy and very grateful” for breaking barriers.
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“When I saw my photos [for the first time], I jumped with excitement,” he said. “I love all. This experience has changed my life. Now I can motivate people to make their dreams come true. And I’m very grateful for that because that’s my dream too, to inspire others.”
Raúl Martínez, chief creative director of Victoria’s Secret, revealed in a statement that the cloud of love collection “This is an important moment in the evolution of the brand.”
“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 standard we’re creating.”
Victoria’s Secret was founded by Roy Larson Raymond in the late 1970s after he was embarrassed to buy lingerie for his wife. Lex Wexner, the founder of then-Limited Stores Inc., bought Victoria’s Secret in 1982 and built it into a powerful retail force. In the mid-’90s, Victoria’s Secret lit up runways, then filled the internet with its supermodels and an annual TV special that blended fashion, beauty, and music.
Unable to adapt to changing tastes, sales plummeted. Its annual show was canceled in 2019 amid growing concerns about the brand’s marketing strategies. There was also increased competition from rival brands like Adore Me and ThirdLove, which have been heavily promoted on social media platforms. In 2020, L Brands announced that it had sold a 55% stake in Victoria’s Secret for approximately $525 million. They also revealed that Wexner, 84, would step down as chairman and CEO of L Brands.
After Hulu released a three-part docuseries Titled “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” earlier this year that focused on Wexner, a spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the brand has evolved since being revamped as a company in 2021.
“The company featured in this docuseries does not reflect the Victoria’s Secret & Co of today. When we became an independent company in August 2021, we set out to regain the trust of our customers, associates and partners,” the statement read. “Today, we are proud to be a different company, with a new leadership team and a mission to welcome, celebrate and champion all women. This transformation is a journey, and our work continues to become the Victoria’s Secret they deserve.” our clients and associates: where everyone feels seen, respected and valued”.
In 2019, Jirau started his career in puerto rico. She made her modeling debut at New York Fashion Week in 2020.
“Since I was very little, I always said I wanted to be a model,” Jirau said. “One day I took my mother’s heels and modeled them around the house like a supermodel. For me, it is very important to inspire others. And it is a privilege that I have… I work hard to make my dream come true.”
“I go to the gym every day of the week,” he continued. “I also focus on eating very healthy at home. I pay attention to what I eat and make sure I feel good. I love coffee time. I have a sweet day when I eat what I want. But willpower is very important to me.”
Jirau insisted that she has never been discouraged from pursuing a modeling career. After modeling for Marisa Santiago at NYFW, she became even more determined to find work and showcase her talent on set.
“I will tell every person in my community who has Down syndrome that they can find a job,” he shared. “You can dream big. There are no limits. The key is to get out of bed, put the phone aside, and work hard. [never] he felt discouraged as a model because anything can be achieved. We need to put our fears aside and just do it. Everything is possible even if people tell you no.”
Jirau shared that since the campaign was announced, it has received an outpouring of support from fans who continue to cheer for it.
“So many people stop me on the street to take photos,” he said. “And I love it. I love taking photos with people and meeting my fans. I love chatting with them. If you want to be a model, contact me. I’ll teach you and we can do it together.” .”
Jirau said that it is only beginning. she ripped his own line called Alavett, which sells mugs, purses, t-shirts, phone cases, and more. Named after how Jirau spells his favorite phrase, “I love it,” the brand features his signature heart doodle.
“I am a businesswoman,” she said. “And I love it! I will tell everyone to follow your passion. Practice hard and never give up. If you have the moves, the attitude and the confidence, you can do it.”
Associated Press contributed to this report.