Fashion history has officially been made: for the first time since 1997, an African model is on the cover of ELLE magazine.

Maria Borges, who was born in Angola, is on the cover of ELLE's May 2017 issue — making her the first African model THIS CENTURY to do so.

At first I was thrilled — but then I was surprised. Not a single African cover girl in twenty years?!

Alek Wek was the last African model to land an ELLE cover — and that was back in 1997.

alek wek elle 1997
photo: Elle USA

But Borges is no stranger to making fashion history. She was the first model EVER to wear her cropped, natural hair on the Victoria’s Secret runway.

She did it the first time in 2015, and then again in 2016.

Maria is one of six models featured on the May issue of ELLE, including Instagram It-Girl Bella Hadid...

Candice Huffine...

Jasmine Tookes...

Hailey Baldwin...

And Elsa Hosk.

While Maria's cover is a major win for models of color, it's upsetting to think of the many iconic African models who could have been featured sometime between 1997 and today — like Iman.

The original supermodel, Iman is a philanthropist and businesswoman — not to mention Yves Saint Laurent's muse. Wouldn't she make an incredible cover model?

There's Liya Kebede — the first Black model to be the face of Estée Lauder.

There’s also Herieth Paul, who is one of the newest faces of Maybelline New York.

The fashion world is more diverse than ever — hopefully it doesn’t take another 20 years for an African model to land that coveted ELLE cover spot.

You can read Maria's interview, where she talks about being the change she wants to see in the modeling world, when the May 2017 issue of ELLE goes on sale.