Maria Borges, a 24-year-old Angolan model has made international fashion headlines by becoming only the second African to make it onto the cover of the Elle magazine – a top fashion publication.
A native of the Angolan capital, Luanda, Borges is the first African in the last two decades to achieve that feat. The first African to make the cover was Sudanese-British model Alek Wek in 1997 – she was born in Wau, an area presently located in South Sudan.
Borges is set to grace the cover of the May 2017 edition of the Elle USA magazine along with five other models. She also becomes the first black woman to appear on the cover with her natural hair.
In February 2017, she became the new face of cosmetic giant L’Oréal Paris. She was recently celebrated for spotting her natural hair during a top fashion event.
She shared a photo of the anticipated cover on her twitter handle with the accompanying message, ‘‘Honored to be the First African Woman of the Century to be on the cover of Elle USA. Thank you everyone for your support.’‘
‘‘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,” she told the CNN in a recent interview.