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Victoria's Secret features its first model with Down syndrome

Sofia Jirau is the first Victoria's Secret model with Down syndrome. Jirau is part of a new line that launched Thursday featuring a myriad of women from different backgrounds, the company said.
Bang Showbiz/Reuters
Sofia Jirau is the first Victoria's Secret model with Down syndrome. Jirau is part of a new line that launched Thursday featuring a myriad of women from different backgrounds, the company said.

Sofía Jirau is making history as Victoria's Secret's first model with Down syndrome. She joins 17 other women in the company's newest campaign.

Jirau, who is also Latina, is part of the Love Cloud collection, which features women described by the company as being from a "myriad of backgrounds." Other models include Celilo Miles, a wildland firefighter for the Nez Perce Tribe; Jailyn Matthews, a fitness trainer; and Hailey Bieber.

"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," the Puerto Rican model posted on her Instagram page in Spanish. "I am the first Victoria's Secret model with Down syndrome!"

The Love Cloud collection launches Thursday and commits to "sophisticated comfort," the company said.

"Love Cloud Collection is a major moment in the brand's evolution," said Raúl Martinez, Victoria's Secret's head creative director. "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."

Jirau made her debut at New York Fashion Week in February 2020, according to her website.

"I am proud as one of the few models with Down syndrome who has managed to participate in the important fashion event," she wrote.

In addition to modeling in the U.S., she says she is also "focused on conquering the runways" in Europe this year.


This story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Deepa Shivaram
Deepa Shivaram is a multi-platform political reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.