The Puerto Rican beauty made history as the first Victoria's Secret model with Down syndrome.

The Puerto Rican beauty made history as the first Victoria’s Secret model with Down syndrome.

The model made history by becoming the first person with Down syndrome to pose for Victoria’s Secret.

Puerto Rican model and activist Sophia Girau, 25, has announced that she is starring in an advertising campaign for a new collection of comfortable casual underwear, Love Cloud, from the American lingerie brand.

She caught the attention of the fashion industry when she made her runway debut at New York Fashion Week in February 2020, and her career has been on the rise throughout the pandemic.

Sophia, who also founded her own brand Alavett, said that posing for Victoria’s Secret was “a dream come true.”

Love Cloud is a new initiative from a lingerie brand that is trying to rebuild trust through a series of initiatives such as the first post-mastectomy bra, racially diverse models promoting lingerie with different skin tones, and the hiring of transgender beauty Valentina Sampaio. after being criticized for its lack of diversity.

Television personality Jameela Jameel once called it “a transphobic, fat-phobic company that seeks to exclude most women,” while declining sales numbers, store closures, and the cancellation of her high-profile runway show have exacerbated the company’s problems in recent years.

Puerto Rican model and activist Sophia Girau, 25, made history by becoming the first person with Down Syndrome to ever pose for Victoria's Secret.

Puerto Rican model and activist Sophia Girau, 25, made history by becoming the first person with Down Syndrome to ever pose for Victoria’s Secret.

Noting the news of her campaign on Instagram today, Sofia said, “I dreamed about it once, I worked on it, and today the dream came true.” I can finally tell you my big secret… I am the first Victoria’s Secret model with Down’s Syndrome.”

Sharing a black and white photo of her showing off the brand’s bra, she continued, “Thank you all for always supporting me in my projects. Thank you @victoriassecret for seeing me as a #NoLimits model and for making me part of the Love Cloud Collection recruitment campaign. This is just the beginning, now it has taken shape.”

“There are no limits inside or out, Alavette,” she said, citing her own brand, named after the English phrase “I love it.”

Sofia, who has 167,000 followers, shared a black and white snap of herself showing off the brand’s floral balcony bra.

The model made her debut as a model at New York Fashion Week in February 2020. She has been raising awareness of Down syndrome on social media.

The model made her debut as a model at New York Fashion Week in February 2020 and has been raising awareness of Down Syndrome on social media.

Her No Limits campaign called Sin Límites aims to raise awareness of Down Syndrome.

The model is also a designer who launched the Alavett online store in 2019.

She made her runway debut at New York Fashion Week in February 2020 and captured the attention of the world.

Then she said: “I am proud to be one of the few models with Down syndrome who managed to take part in an important fashion event.

Keeping fit!  Sofia, who takes care of her model physique, said that posing for Victoria's Secret was a dream come true.

Keeping fit! Sofia, who takes care of her model physique, said that posing for Victoria’s Secret was a dream come true.

Sophia created the No Limits campaign to encourage other people with Down Syndrome to keep working towards their goals.

Sophia created the No Limits campaign to encourage other people with Down Syndrome to keep working towards their goals.

“Modeling in the United States was the beginning of my dream from an early age to be a model on the most important catwalks in the world.”

She said she hopes the move will inspire other people living with Down Syndrome to achieve their goals.

Her main idol is J.Lo and Sofia said she would like to meet her one day.

Victoria’s Secret launched their Love Cloud collection on Monday, the next step in their rebrand after a rough patch.

The 25-year-old shows off a Victoria's Secret bra from the Love Cloud collection, which launched on Monday.

The 25-year-old shows off a Victoria’s Secret bra from the Love Cloud collection, which launched on Monday.

Sofia launched her own brand called Alavett in 2019 and shares her impressions of her life as a model on social media.

Sofia launched her own brand called Alavett in 2019 and shares her impressions of her life as a model on social media.

The Puerto Rican beauty said she was proud to be one of the few models with Down syndrome to take part in Fashion Week.

The Puerto Rican beauty said she was proud to be one of the few models with Down syndrome to take part in Fashion Week.

The brand’s line of casual comfortable bras features 18 women modelling.

Some, like Hailey Bieber and Taylor Hill, are professional models, but the campaign also features women who inspire the message that the brand is accessible to all.

The inclusive campaign features Celilo Miles, a Nez Perce Wildland firefighter, and Sylvia Buckler, an accessory designer who models a bra while cradling her pregnant belly.

The model and designer wants to show that anything is possible if you work towards your dream and thanked Victoria's Secret for participating in the advertising campaign.

The model and designer wants to show that anything is possible if you work towards your dream and thanked Victoria’s Secret for participating in the advertising campaign.

Sofia takes part in the new Love Cloud collection campaign along with 17 other women, including a firefighter.

Sofia takes part in the new Love Cloud collection campaign along with 17 other women, including a firefighter.

Speaking to Vogue, Celilo said she still can’t believe she was chosen for the campaign.

“I used to watch the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and dreamed of being on that stage.

“Everyone wanted to be in this club, but you knew you didn’t belong there,” she said.

She added that when she started modeling, she tried to lose weight to fit a size that she couldn’t handle because she thought she was done.

The campaign also features plus size models such as Paloma Elsesser and Devin Garcia.

Vogue noted that the collection is the first under new Victoria’s Secret creative director Raul Martinez, who has been hard at work reimagining how the brand promotes itself to women.

Fallen Angels: How Victoria’s Secret went from a once-global phenomenon and favorite underwear of world stars to a brand struggling to stay relevant

Victoria’s Secret was founded in 1977 by American businessman Roy Raymond, who opened a small chain of boudoir lingerie stores when he couldn’t find men-oriented women’s clothing stores.

In 1982, he sold the company to clothing magnate Les Wexner for $1 million, a fraction of its current value. Raymond later committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

He chose the name Victoria, after Queen Victoria, thinking it sounded sophisticated, and added “Secret” to refer to what was hidden under the clothes.

Eventually, hundreds of stores opened from coast to coast, but the glittering launch of Victoria’s Secret’s first sexually explicit fashion show at New York’s Plaza Hotel in 1995 changed that.

Beginnings: The first Victoria's Secret Fashion Show was held at the Plaza Hotel in New York in 1995, featuring models such as Angelica Kallio (pictured). Leilani (pictured) walks the catwalk in 1995.

Getting started: The first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was held at the Plaza Hotel in New York in 1995, with models like Angelica Kallio (left) and Leilani (right) walking the runway.

Broadcast on network TV to 185 countries, millions tuned in to watch supermodels Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Tyra Banks and Karen Mulder – among others – strip down to their essentials.

Victoria’s Secret opened its first flagship store on London’s Bond Street in 2012 and ran its first runway show in 2014 with Ed Sheeran as the star, but recent years have been more challenging.

Apart from a slight increase in the first quarter of 2018, lingerie sales have been falling every quarter since the fourth quarter of 2016.

Victoria’s Secret closed 20 stores in 2018 due to poor annual sales figures, and at the end of the year, former CEO Jan Singer stepped down last November.

The parent company of the lingerie giant, L Brands, confirmed in November 2019 that its famous show would not take place. This decision was part of a movement to “develop messaging [the company]”, Fortune reported at the time.

Famous Faces: The show has featured some of the world's most in-demand models over the years, including Bella Hadid in 2018. Heidi Klum on the Victoria's Secret runway in Miami, 2008.

Famous Faces: The show has featured some of the world’s most in-demand models over the years, including Bella Hadid in New York in 2018 (left) and Heidi Klum in Miami in 2008 (right).

Supermodel Tyra Banks shows off an outfit at the Victoria's Secret fashion show in New York in 2003.

Supermodel Tyra Banks shows off an outfit at the 2003 Victoria’s Secret fashion show in New York (left).

This comes a year after marketing director Ed Razek said the brand would not invite plus size or “transgender” models because the show is a “fantasy”.

In 2020, over 100 models signed an open letter to the then-CEO of Victoria’s Secret calling for action on the “culture of misogyny and abuse” at the company.

In the letter, Jon Mehas called for an end to what the group, which included Christy Turlington Burns, Iskra Lawrence, Edie Campbell, Amber Valletta, and Felicity Hayward, called the lingerie chain’s “entrenched culture of misogyny.”

As consumers forgo glamor for comfort, and with huge backlash over reports of Wexner’s historic friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, Victoria’s Secret is facing an identity crisis.

Along with changing public perceptions of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, the brand has seen a continued drop in sales.

Last year, the brand tried a new approach by posting pictures on its Instagram account promoting neutral lingerie in different skin tones, featuring models from different ethnic backgrounds and showing off a variety of sizes.

However, some lingerie fans said the company’s attempt to finally be more diverse was “too small and too late” and accused the brand of “playing catch-up.”

In May 2020, parent company L Brands announced the closure of 250 stores in the US and Canada due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Closures accounted for almost a quarter of the 1,091 Victoria’s Secret stores in North America.

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