Victoria’s Secret campaign features first model with Down syndrome

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This week, 24-year-old model Sofia Jirau became the first person with Down syndrome to appear in a campaign for Victoria’s Secret. the brand hopes to “reinforce Victoria’s Secret’s commitment to welcoming and celebrating all women,” according to a press release. . Famous faces like Hailey Bieber, Taylor Hill and Adut Akech join Celilo Miles, an Indigenous firefighter who poses with her helmet and Sylvia Buckler, a props designer and mom who holds her baby bump in her portrait. Also in the campaign is Valentina Sampaio, who became the lingerie brand’s first openly transgender model in 2019. On Wednesday, Jirau took to Instagram to express her excitement for the milestone. “One day I dreamed about it, I worked on it and today it’s a dream come true. I can finally share my big secret. I’m the first model with Down syndrome for Victoria (sic) Secret!” reads a translation of his message. “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 for making me part of the Love Cloud Collection inclusion campaign. This is just the beginning !” Jirau has been a model since 2019 and also has an online store called “Alavett”, a Spanish-English pun for the phrase “I love her”. In February 2020, Jirau became one of the few models with Down syndrome to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week. She emphasizes through her social media accounts that her goal is to encourage others to pursue their dreams. “I always say, ‘Inside and out, there are no limits’ to inspire people to push beyond their self-imposed limits,” she writes on her website. The diverse new campaign is part of Victoria’s Secret’s ongoing attempts to overhaul the narrow image of sexy it has cultivated for decades. Following criticism of the brand’s resistance to wider representation and the cancellation of its once highly anticipated TV fashion show, Victoria’s Secret announced last summer that it would focus on creating lingerie for women. of all shapes, sizes and origins. ‘The Angels’ have been retired – the longtime name of the brand’s models – to make way for the VS Collective, an ambassador program featuring seven women known for their advocacy work, including soccer player Megan Rapinoe and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas. Some of the founding members of the VS Collective are now featured in the Love Cloud campaign, including Bieber, Akech, Sampaio and plus-size model Paloma Elsesser. Creative director Raúl Martinez said in a statement that the campaign is “a major 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 normal we are creating,” he said.

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

The Puerto Rican model appeared alongside 17 other women to promote the new comfort Love Cloud collection, which the brand hopes will “reinforce Victoria’s Secret’s commitment to welcoming and celebrating all women”, according to a press release. .

The group is made up of professional and non-professional models, of all skin colors, all sizes and all ages. Famous faces like Hailey Bieber, Taylor Hill and Adut Akech join Celilo Miles, an Indigenous firefighter who poses with her helmet and Sylvia Buckler, a props designer and mom who holds her baby bump in her portrait. Valentina Sampaio, who in 2019 became the lingerie brand’s first openly transgender model, is also in the campaign.

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

“One day I dreamed about it, I worked on it and today it’s a dream come true. I can finally share my big secret. I’m the first model with Down syndrome for Victoria (sic) Secret!” reads a translation of his message. “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 for making me part of the Love Cloud Collection inclusion campaign. This is just the beginning !”

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

“I always say, ‘Inside and out, there are no limits’ to inspire people to push beyond their self-imposed limits,” she writes on her website.

Victoria’s Secret

Sofia Jirau, 24, from Puerto Rico, is the first model with Down syndrome to pose for Victoria’s Secret.

The diverse new campaign is part of Victoria’s Secret’s ongoing attempts to overhaul the narrow image of sexy it has cultivated for decades. Following criticism of the brand’s resistance to wider representation and the cancellation of its once highly anticipated TV fashion show, Victoria’s Secret announced last summer that it would focus on creating lingerie for women. of all shapes, sizes and origins. ‘The Angels’ have been retired – the longtime name of the brand’s models – to make way for the VS Collective, an ambassador program featuring seven women known for their advocacy work, including soccer player Megan Rapinoe and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

Some of the founding members of the VS collective are now featured in the Love Cloud campaign, including Bieber, Akech, Sampaio and plus-size model Paloma Elsesser.

Creative director Raúl Martinez said in a statement that the campaign is “a major 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 normal we are creating,” he said.

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