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05th Aug 2019

Victoria’s Secret hires its first transgender model, Valentina Sampaio

Jade Hayden

“Never stop dreaming.”

Victoria’s Secret have hired their first transgender model, Valentina Sampaio.

The model and actor shared a behind-the-scenes look at her Pink shoot this week, performing different poses for the camera in a white robe.

The 22-year-old captioned her posts “backstage click” and “never stop dreaming.”

This is the first time that Victoria’s Secret has hired a transgender model to work alongside their brand.

Sampaio, who is from Brazil, was the first transgender model to feature on the cover of Vogue magazine in March 2017. She also appeared on the cover of Brazilian Vogue and has featured in German Vogue.

This comes after Victoria’s Secret came under criticism for refusing to hire transgender models for their runway shows and campaigns.

The brand’s marketing officer Ed Razek told Vogue that VS had considered using transgender and plus size models – but that they had decided against it.

“If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have,” he said.

“Do I think about diversity? Yes. Does the brand think about diversity? Yes. Do we offer larger sizes? Yes.

“It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? 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.”

This lack of inclusivity led to the brand’s loss of Karlie Kloss, who had walked in many VS fashion shows.

The model said that she didn’t agree with the message the company was sending young women and girls.

“I didn’t feel it was an image that was truly reflective of who I am and the kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful,” she said.

“I think that was a pivotal moment in me stepping into my power as a feminist, being able to make my own choices and my own narrative, whether through the companies I choose to work with, or through the image I put out to the world.”