Victoria’s Secret has its first transgender model. Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio showed off a behind-the-scenes photos at a shoot for the lingerie brand’s Pink line on Instagram.
“Never stop dreaming,” she wrote.
The hire has been a long time coming. The company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ed Razek, came under fire last year for comments he made regarding including trans models in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.
“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,” he said.
Models who have previously walked in the show, including Karlie Kloss and Lily Aldridge, seemed to disagree. The two posted a photo reading “Trans and GNC [gender non-conforming] people are not a debate” to their Instagram stories shortly after.
Victoria’s Secret has faced its share of controversy surrounding its casting decisions, exclusively hiring tall, thin models for its televised fashion show. The lack of inclusion was part of the reason it lost one of its veteran models, Karlie Kloss.
“The reason I decided to stop working with Victoria’s Secret was 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 told British Vogue last month. “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.”
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