Victoria's Secret hires its first openly transgender model

Kimberly Dole
August 05, 2019 - 2:19 pm

Instagram/Valentina Sampaio


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Victoria's Secret has hired its first openly transgender model, nearly one year after a top company official was pressured to apologize for implying trans women are off brand.

The intimates retailer has hired Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio, her agent confirmed.

FILE - In this March 16, 2017, file photo Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio wears a creation from the Amir Slama collection during Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sampaio has become the first openly transgender model hired by Victoria’s Secret nearly a year after a top company official was pressured to apologize for implying trans women are off brand. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

The Brazilian model posted an image of herself to her Instagram account with the caption "Never stop dreaming genteee"

Never stop dreaming genteee ------ #staytuned #bastidores #new #vspink #campaign #representatividade #diversity #beauty #selfie #life #fashion #usa #vstorm #valentinasampaio --✌--

A post shared by Valentina Sampaio (@valentts) on

Sampaio had been hired by Victoria's Secret for a campaign, to be released in mid-August, for its PINK line CNN reports. 

Victoria's Secret model Lais Ribeiro, a fellow Brazilian, tweeted: "First transgender to shoot with Vs! This make me so happy!"

Victoria's Secret has previously come under fire for its stance on the transgender community.

In 2018, the chief marketing officer for Victoria's Secret's parent company, Ed Razek, caused controversy in an interview with Vogue, saying he didn't think the brand should include "transsexuals", a term considered outdated and offensive to many in the LGBTQ community in its show, "Because the show is a fantasy." 

Razek later apologized for his comments in a statement published on the Victoria's Secret Twitter account, writing: "My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria's Secret Fashion show came across as insensitive. I apologize."

"To be clear, we would absolutely cast a transgender model for the show."

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