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Victoria's Secret Hires Its First Model With Down Syndrome

Sofia Jirau, a 24-year-old Puerto Rican woman with Down Syndrome, stars in Victoria's Secret's latest campaign for its lingerie.
Zoey Grossman / Victoria Secret
  • Victoria's Secret's Love Cloud collection will be promoted by 18 models from diverse backgrounds.
  • Sofia Jirau, a Puerto Rican model with Down syndrome, is among those touting the brand.
  • The company is looking to be more inclusive because its sales had suffered in recent years as consumers rejected its overly sexualized imagery.

Victoria's Secret said Friday it is launching a new intimates collection, Love Cloud, that will be promoted by 24-year-old model Sofia Jirau.

Jirau is the first model with Down syndrome to be featured by the intimates retailer. The Puerto Rican-born model, who began modeling three years ago, told the Wall Street Journal that she would love to inspire others.

"Even if they have Down syndrome, they can still model, they can still have jobs," she told the Journal.

Jirau has her own campaign, Sin Limites, that raises awareness about Down syndrome.

The Love Cloud collection, which was created for all day comfort, will be promoted by 18 models of different backgrounds. The campaign focuses on celebrating all women, according to Victoria's Secret.

"With this new line, we are launching high-quality bras and panties in shapes that fit women's daily needs, in our ongoing effort to develop products that champion women and support their individual journeys," said Chief Design Officer Janie Schaffer, in a statement.

Recently, Victoria's Secret has expanded its brand to feature more diverse models like Valentina Sampaio of Brazil, the intimates retailer's first transgender model, is also part of this campaign. There have also been more plus-size hires in recent years, as the company aims to become more inclusive. On Thursday, Victoria's Secret's Pink announced a new plus-size brand ambassador, TikTok star Remi Bader.

The company is looking to be more inclusive because its sales had suffered in recent years as consumers rejected its overly sexualized imagery. Although it had remained the dominant brand in the lingerie category, rivals such as American Eagle's Aerie, Cuup and ThirdLove, were gaining more market share. Last July, it unveiled a comeback plan, which included an apology from its CEO, Martin Waters.

"We got it wrong," Waters said at the time. "We lost relevance with the modern woman." 

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