The days when models used to solely cover fashion magazine covers have long gone with the introduction of entertainment and Hollywood stars reigning in. However, some magazines like to throw it back and keep it traditional and this month Elle magazine features its first African Model to grace to the cover in the 21st century, Maria Borges.
In excitement Maria tweeted out “Honored to be the First African Woman of the Century to be on the cover of @elleusa. Thank you everyone for your support.#AFRICAxELLEUSA” on Tuesday, April 11th. This cover happens to be one of six May issue covers Elle is putting on news stands April 18. Other cover stars include Bella Hadid, Candice Huffine (one of the first plus size models to grace the cover), Hailey Bladwin, Jasmine Tookes, and Elsa Hosk.
Borges, 24, was born in Angola Africa and has been rocking the fashion world since 2010 after being discovered at the Angolan contest edition of Elite Model Choice. In 2015 Borges became the first African model to rock her natural fro in Victoria’s Secret annual televised fashion show which prompted the coordinators to hire more models of color and have them do the same in 2016’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion show.
In an interview with Elle magazine Borges elaborated on the need for representation in the fashion industry stating “The fashion industry is here for everyone, [regardless] of color or race,” she told Elle. “When I was growing up, I never saw someone like me, and now the other girls can see someone like them. It’s all about inspiration.”
Prior to Borges, Sudanese model Alek Wek covered the magazine back in 1997 but the 20 year gap has now succumbed! Back in February Borges also became the face of L’Oreal Paris. Congrats to her!