Valentina Sampaio Is Victoria's Secret's First Transgender Model
By Paige Gawley
Dominique Charriau/Getty Images
Valentina Sampaio is making history!
A source close to Victoria’s Secret tells ET that the 22-year-old model and actress is their first transgender model. She’s one of many models and campus reps featured in the current VS PINK back-to-campus campaign, the source says.
Additionally, Sampaio's agent, Erio Zanon, confirms to ET that she she will be featured in the new Pink campaign that's set to 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 says of Sampaio.
The confirmation comes after Sampaio took to Instagram last week to share a pic of herself at a Victoria's Secret shoot. "Backstage click," she wrote alongside the photo of herself in a white robe, even tagging the lingerie company.
Laverne Cox was overjoyed about the news, commenting, "Wow, finally!".
Additionally, Lais Ribeiro, a Victoria's Secret Angel, commented with the clapping hands emoji and took to Twitter to write that the news made her "so happy!"
"If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have... I don’t think we can be all things to all customers. It is a specialty business; it isn’t a department store," he said. "I’m always asking myself: If we do that, what is the reason we did it? Why did we include that person? And did we include them to shut up a reporter? Did we include them because it was the right thing to do or because it was the politically correct thing to do? Do they take the place of somebody who worked for a year for the opportunity and cried when they found that they got it?"
"Do I think about diversity? Yes. Does the brand think about diversity? Yes. Do we offer larger sizes? Yes," he added later in the interview. "So it’s like, why don’t you do 50? 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. 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," Razek continued. "And they carp at us because we’re the leader. They don’t talk about each other. I accept that. I actually respect it. Cool. But we’re nobody’s third love. [ThirdLove is a competing lingerie brand.] We’re their first love. And Victoria’s Secret has been women’s first love from the beginning."