Ask model Maria Borges to describe herself, and she’ll succinctly summarize: “I’m Maria Borges, a model with long legs and short afro hair from Africa Angola.” Discovered six years ago in an Elite Model Look contest, Borges has long been a favorite of high fashion designers such as Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, and has had plenty of commercial success walking the runway at Victoria’s Secret and starring in ad campaigns for cosmetics giants like L’Oreal. Her upbringing wasn’t easy—born in 1992, the Angolan Civil War loomed over her childhood—and if she could chose to be anyone, it would be the recently sainted “Madre Teresa di Calcutta.”
THE PERSON I ADMIRE THE MOST:
I admire Anna Wintour a lot.
SOME THINGS THAT INSPIRE ME:
Seeing people giving back and helping others without asking anything back.
QUESTIONS I CAN’T ANSWER:
Asking me if I’m a supermodel, really? I need a lot of work to get there!
EVENTS I WISH I’D WITNESSED:
If I have to choose one, it will be a world peace meeting.
THINGS I’D LIKE TO IMPROVE ABOUT MYSELF:
Being more patient.
MY GREAT MASTERPIECE:
Being able to work with such incredibly powerful people in the fashion industry—it makes me proud for all the achievements.
MY GREATEST ADVENTURE:
My trip to Havana, Cuba.
GAMES I PLAY:
CandyCrush, basketball, soccer.
THINGS I’LL BE REMEMBERED BY:
Being the young girl that decided to accept herself by embracing who she was—by cutting her hair off and still looking beautiful.
SOME THINGS I’D RATHER FORGET:
People with bad energy and attitudes.
MY IDEA OF HAPPINESS:
To be able to provide financial stability for my family back home in Angola.
ONE LAST FAVOR I’D LIKE TO ASK:
Can fashion be more inclusive.
For more from our “Beyond Here Lies Nothing” series, click here.