Victoria’s Secret makes some waves with news it has hired its first trans model, 22-year-old, Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio, who was hired to shoot the company’s sporty Pink line, which targets a more youthful demographic.
Sampaio announced the news on Instagram where she posted images while on location for a shoot. In one caption she wrote, “Never stop dreaming genteee.”
While companies featuring trans models in campaigns has become common place, the move is noteworthy because of comments Victoria’s Secret’s then head of marketing Ed Razek made last year about hiring either trans or plus-size models. In an exchange with Vogue just prior to the brand’s November 2018 fashion show (which has been cancelled this year), he dismissed the idea of hiring “transsexuals” because “the show is a fantasy.” While Razek eventually apologized, the walk back rang hollow given the company made no changes to its casting policies.
Within 24 hours of the news of Sampaio’s hire, it was announced Razek would be stepping down from his role sometime in late August 2019. No mention of modeling choices was mention in the internal memo sent to Victoria’s Secret employees.
Check out Sampaio on set below.