Victoria's Secret Hires Its First Transgender Model

Victoria's Secret has officially hired its first openly transgender model, with the lingerie giant enlisting model Valentina Sampaio to work for its PINK brand.

Sampaio's agent, Erio Zanon, confirmed to Entertainment Tonight that Sampaio will be featured in the upcoming PINK campaign that will be released in mid-August.

"Of course she is very happy for it and she hopes that it shall continue to break barriers and to make a step to more inclusivity and representation for everybody," Zanon said.

Sampaio first shared the news with a photo and video of herself at a Victoria's Secret photo shoot

She received a number of supportive comments including a message from Victoria's Secret Angel Lais Ribeiro, who tweeted, "First transgender to shoot with Vs! This make me so happy!"

Former Angel Lily Aldridge commented a series of hearts on Sampaio's post, while actor Laverne Cox shared, "Wow finally!"

The 22-year-old was the first transgender model to be featured on the cover of Vogue Paris in March 2017 and has walked the runway for numerous designers. She previously auditioned for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 2018.

Sampaio's hiring comes after Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer of Victoria's Secret's parent company, L Brands, made comments regarding the inclusion of transgender and plus-size models in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

“So it’s like, why don’t you do 50?” he told Vogue, referring to sizing. “Why don’t you do 60? Why don’t you do 24? 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.”

The New York Times reported that a memo was sent to L Brands employees on Monday announcing Razek's retirement.

In July, model Shanina Shaik told Australia's The Daily Telegraph that the annual show won't be happening this year.

"Unfortunately the Victoria's Secret show won't be happening this year," Shaik, who has walked in the show five times, said. "It's something I'm not used to because every year around this time I'm training like an angel. But I'm sure in the future something will happen, which I'm pretty sure about."

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She added, "I'm sure they're trying to work on branding and new ways to do the show because it's the best show in the world."

Photo Credit: Getty / Miguel Medina