Valentina Sampaio Becomes the First Transgender Model to Work with Victoria's Secret
The boundary breaking Brazilian model is joining forces with Victoria's Secret PINK for a new campaign
Victoria’s Secret is taking steps towards increased inclusivity.
Less than a year after Victoria’s Secret and L Brands’ chief marketing officer Ed Razek faced backlash for making comments which seemed to justify the lack of curvy and transgender models on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway, the lingerie retailer is welcoming Brazilian transgender supermodel Valentina Sampaio to its family.
The 22-year-old boundary-breaking model posted a photo and video on Instagram, tagging @vspink, that hinted towards her involvement in an upcoming Victoria’s Secret PINK campaign. “Never stop dreaming genteee 💋💋💋
#staytuned #bastidores #new #vspink#campaign #representatividade#diversity #beauty #selfie #life#fashion #usa #vstorm#valentinasampaio 🌈✌🏼,” Sampaio captioned one post.
In another post, Sampaio wears a plush white robe and smiles softly at the camera writing, “Backstage click @vspink 💕💕.”
She garnered much support in the comments of her Instagram posts from Victoria’s Secret models and LGBTQ+ activists alike. “Stunning 💗💗💗💗💗💗,” wrote Lily Aldridge, who has walked in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show nine times and earned her Angel wings.
Fellow transgender actress Laverne Cox cheered on Sampaio by saying, “Wow finally!”
Victoria’s Secret Angel and Brazilian model Lais Ribeiro tweeted: “First transgender to shoot with Vs! This makes me so happy! ❤️”
The news of Sampaio’s relationship with Victoria’s Secret comes nearly a year after Razek said he could never imagine welcoming a trans model on the VS runway.
“Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special,” Razek said in an interview with Vogue.
“My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive. I apologize,” Razek said. “To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show. We’ve had transgender models come to casting… And like many others, they didn’t make it…But it was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”
Sampaio has continuously broken boundaries in the fashion world since getting her start in the industry as a teen. Two years ago, she became the first openly transgender model to cover any edition of Vogue when she covered Vogue Paris’ March 2017 issue.
“The world has taken huge steps for transgender people in recent years,” Sampaio told Buzzfeed News at the time. “My cover is another small step — an important step that shows we have the force to be Vogue cover girls.
She added: “The fashion industry is an instrument to raise flags promoting diversity, where things are more fluid and beauty evolves. Fashion is a world that’s freer.”
Since then, she’s also covered Elle Mexico, starred in multiple L’Oréal Paris campaigns and walked the runway for Opening Ceremony.