Runway beauty Maria Borges holds her head up high for many reasons. Not only does she come from the beautiful country of Angola, she was the first to boldly step on the runway in a full blown natural, causing other beauties such as Londone Myers, Lineisy Montero and Jourdana Philips to follow suit. Most recently, she graced the April cover of Elle Magazine in all her melanin glory, making it a first for Black women since Alek Wek had the cover back in 1997. In February of this year, she snatched a coveted deal with L’Oreal Paris to be their face of beauty. Her resume includes work with Ralph Lauren, Sephora, La Perla, Vogue and Channel – just to name a few! After accomplishing so much since her debut in 2012, Maria is still on the go with many more runways to light up!
IMG – New York
IMG Paris – Paris
IMG Milano – Milan
IMG London – London
Traffic Model – Barcelona
20 Model Management – Cape Town
Mega Model Agency – Hamburg
We Are Models – Lisboa
Way Model Management – Sao Paulo
MP Model Management – Stockholm
Claim to Fame: Maria was discovered by a scouting agency in 2010 when she won 2nd place in the Angolan beauty contest, Elite Model Look. She went on to book 17 shows her first season of modeling!
There were high hopes and expectations for Maria when she first signed on to work the runways, but she took everything to a new high when she walked the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show extension free. She removed her long tresses and replaced them with a short-cropped natural afro. This was a huge wave of breakthrough for the fashion industry. Even though this was a great accomplishment, Maria thinks there’s room for more diversity to take place on the runway.
“It’s all about inspiration.” she tells Elle. “When I was growing up, I never saw someone like me, and now the other girls can see someone like them.”