It was announced earlier this month that Victoria’s Secret hired their first openly transgender model, Valentina Sampaio. With this visibility, the 22-year-old Brazilian bombshell says she plans to use her platform to continue to call for change in the fashion industry – and society at large.
When speaking to Elle, she said she wants to “change the status quo not only in the fashion industry but also in society.” This is certainly a step toward representation, considering the company has long been criticized for their lack diversity.
In fact, the move comes shortly after Ed Razek, the former chief marketing officer of VS, told Vogue that the brand would not cast “transsexuals” in their televised fashion show because the “show is a fantasy.” He has since announced his retirement, and the annual fashion show has been canceled.
“This represents a victory for society, not just the trans community but for all people who currently underrepresented in fashion,” Sampaio said of her casting. “We are experiencing a moment, an evolution and it is a positive one. Brands are finally learning and catching up to the importance of inclusivity and diversity.”
It’s. About. Time. Here’s to hoping this is truly a genuine move by VS, and not solely an attempt to save the brand from declining sales and a bad reputation.
Since announcing her new gig on Instagram, in which she shared a beautiful behind-the-scenes selfie with the hashtag #vspink, Sampaio has received loads of support as fans, fellow models, and celebs celebrate the news. Former Victoria’s Secret Angel Lily Aldridge posted a string of heart emojis. “While finally!” wrote Lavern Cox.