Sofía Jirau on being Victoria’s Secret’s 1st model with Down syndrome: ‘There are no limits’

·2 min read

Sofía Jirau made history with Victoria's Secret in February when she became the first model with Down syndrome for the lingerie brand. But even after hitting the career milestone at just 24 years old, the now 25-year-old is setting her sights on new opportunities within the fashion industry, noting that her success has no limits.

The Puerto Rican model says that she's wanted to be a "model and a business woman" since she was young. She even had dreams of becoming internationally known, explaining that her mom inspired her to think big.

"My mom inspires me because she is the best mom in the entire world and a mom that I love and adore since when I was little until now," Jirau says during Yahoo's Women's History Month livestream Inspo to Impact. "My mom taught me to learn a lot of things and to not limit myself. And I don’t have any (limits). Because inside and out there are no limits. And I’m a very educated woman. And disciplined as well."

The work ethic that her mother instilled in her led Jirau to kick off her modeling career in 2019 before making her debut at New York Fashion week in 2020. With the 2022 launch of Victoria's Secret's Love Cloud collection, Jirau's image and name would finally gain notoriety around the world.

Jirau explains that she was connected to the brand and immediately "jumped on a plane" once she was offered the campaign.

"I went to the airport and jumped in a car. I arrived and right away started modeling the line, including bras and everything," she says. "I got to meet the rest of the Victoria's Secret models. It went very well. It was super cool and awesome."

Jirau was among a notable cast of models for the campaign, including a woman in her late 40s and a model with hereditary spastic paraplegia type 3a. The experience taught her that whether a person is living with a disability or not, there are "no limits" to what they can accomplish.

"I would say that they can work hard and make a living and take care of themselves. And I would tell them that inside and out there are no limits and you can accomplish so much that you set out to do," she says. "And you can dream big."

Even after the historic Victoria's Secret campaign, Jirau continues to think about what's next for her.

"My next dream is to dance in a scene and to dance with all the artists," she says. "And to meet Shakira, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez because they all inspire me."

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