@valentts / Instagram

Victoria's Secret has hired its first transgender model

Finally!

05 Aug 2019

It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for: Victoria’s Secret has finally cast their first transgender model. Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio confirmed the news with a behind-the-scenes image of her posing in the brand’s Pink sub-line, writing: “Never stop dreaming” to her 201,000 Instagram followers.

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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

Valentina has been creating waves in the modelling industry, as she was the first transgender model to be on the cover of Vogue Paris in 2017. Since then she has appeared on the covers of German Vogue and Brazilian Vogue, and now she’s breaking down barriers at VS.

Fellow angel Lais Ribero was quick to welcome Valentina into the family, tweeting: “First transgender to shoot with VS! This makes me so happy!”.

First transgender to shoot with Vs! This make me so happy! ❤️ pic..com/JydOd2mFQb

— Lais Ribeiro (@Lalaribeiro16) August 3, 2019

This hire is a much-needed move for Victoria’s Secret who has come under fire in recent years for their lack of diversity and inclusivity, both with the choice of models and behind the scenes.

In a shocking statement last year, Victoria’s Secret exec Ed Razek said the brand would not use trans models because “the show is a fantasy”. He stated to Vogue Runway: “It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us. And they carp at us because we’re the leader."

The comment unsurprisingly wreaked havoc for the brand who were scrutinized for their out-of-touch viewpoint. Razek later issued an apology and less than a year later Victoria’s Secret has cast their first transgender model.

Was the backlash to Razek’s comments the driving force behind Valentina’s hire? Almost definitely. It is likely the world’s reaction provided a much-needed reality check for Victoria’s Secret who are finally championing some much-needed diversity. Long may it continue!