Victoria’s Secret just made the dreams of Valentina Sampaio after the 22-year-old has become the first openly transgender model to pose for the brand. Valentina is no rookie to posing in front of the camera since modeling for brands like Philipp Plein and Pollini and appearing in publications such as Vogue Brasil and Elle.
The news broke when Valentina shared an image to Instagram in an all-white robe with the caption: “Backstage click @vspink.” Just days later, she shared a video that teased her involvement with the brand even more. “She is super happy and proud to represent all her community,” Valentina’s agent, Erio Zannon, said in a statement. “She hopes this opportunity shall be another step to break barriers.”
Famed transgender actress Laverne Cox, known for her role in Orange Is The New Black responded to the news writing on the post, “Wow finally!”
The chief marketing officer of Victoria’s Secret Ed Razek recently made headlines when he said that transexuals shouldn’t partake in the runway show. “The show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world,” he said.
He later apologized for his insensitive remarks. “My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive,” he wrote. “I apologize. To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show. We’ve had transgender models come to castings… And like many others, they didn’t make it… But it was never about gender.”