Very few models leave behind noteworthy imprints post-career, but the opposite seems to be the case with Maria Borges. Of Angolan descent, Borges made a breakthrough in 2010 when she placed second at the Angolan edition of the Elite Model Look contest. Since then, she’s gone on to walk the runways for fashion’s most prominent names. She’s a Givenchy favorite, going on to walk exclusively for the brand following the direction of its creative lead, Ricardo Tisci, whom she refers to as “godfather.”
She caught her biggest break in 2015 when she made headlines as the first black model to walk a Victoria’s Secret show wearing her natural afro hair. This paved the way for the inclusion of two other nappy-haired models – Herieth Paul and Jourdana Phillips – in the show’s 2016 edition.
Borges is now spokesperson for L’Oréal Paris, a beauty marque that constantly harps on diversity and inclusion – one of its recent campaigns featured trans model Hari Nef, Chinese model Xiao Wen Jun, and curve model Sabina Karlsson.
“I believe in the beauty of diversity and the empowering message that a girl who started from the bottom can be an international beauty symbol and be living proof that our dreams are valid, and the future ahead of us is bright,” Borges once said in a public statement.
From a humble beginnings in Angola to the international runway to becoming the face of one of the biggest beauty brands in the world, Maria Borges is fast on the rise.