Heads up, Ashley Graham: 24-year-old Maria Gimena is nipping at your high heels.
The Uruguayan-born, New Jersey-based beauty has been named as the 2017 Face of Torrid after the plus-sized clothing brand, which touts itself as “celebrating young, stylish women sizes 10 to 30,” held its second annual national model search.
“The fact that I was chosen out of a group of so many beautiful, strong and diverse women is beyond words,” Gimena said in a press release shared by the fashion company, before revealing that she had never thought of herself as someone who could be accepted in front of the camera.
“I’ve always had an interest in fashion. However, I never viewed myself as a ‘model’ because growing up, there were no role models in the media who looked like me or that I felt I could relate to,” she explained. “Now that the industry is finally changing, I am proud to represent such an amazing brand like Torrid.”
And she should be proud: Fans of the fashion brand (the home of Rebel Wilson’s plus-size fashion line) crowned her its new face themselves via an interactive voting process that allowed them to send in model submissions, attend live castings, and ultimately choice the winner via a social media vote.
Congratulations, Maria! 2017 is shaping up to be the year of the curvy girl.