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There’s a new model on the fashion scene. Angolan-born Maria Borges is taking over international runways with her never-ending legs and cat-like eyes.

Born in 1992, the Portuguese-speaking beauty was raised by her siblings in the midst of the Angolan civil war. In what reads like a classic rags-to-riches tale, Maria was discovered when she placed second in the Elite Model Look Angola 2010 and was promptly signed to Supreme Management in New York.

She has walked on 39 runways, including Marc Jacobs and Dior, refers to Riccardo Tisci, creative director of Givenchy, as her ‘godfather’, has signed multiple Givenchy exclusives and has even walked in his menswear shows. It is safe to say the fashion world simply can’t get enough of her!

Some of her other noteworthy fashion moments include booking the Tom Ford comeback runway show about which she told ‘walking for Tom Ford was especially amazing because I feel that I really became the woman he was asking for.’ Another major triumph was when she posed for former Vogue Paris editor, Carine Roitfeld’s, new magazine CR Fashion Book.

But don’t think she’s forgotten her roots. She’s travelled back to Angola to walk the runway for Angola Fashion Week and was named Forbes Africa Magazine’s top model of 2013.

Beyond modelling, Maria has her eyes set on higher education. She’s taking English classes at City College and hopes to eventually get into an American university.

So how does she stay grounded with all of her success? Step by step (which she has subsequently had tattooed on her forearm). When she left Angola, someone told her ‘Be patient; take it step by step.’

What do you think of Maria?

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