Victoria's Secret have hired their first out transgender model, only one year on from Ed Razek's controversial transphobic comments about the brand's annual fashion show.
The VS Angels have added Valentina Sampaio to their roster, making the model the brand's first out VS Angel. Sampaio announced the news to her Instagram followers, and her agent confirmed it with CNN.
Sampaio is already a spokesperson for L'Oréal, and was the first out transgender woman to feature on the cover of Vogue. She appeared on the cover of Vogue Paris in March 2017 with the issue covering transgender beauty.
She later covered Vogue Brazil and Vogue Germany in the same year as well as appearing on ELLE Brazil's cover in 2016. Trans inclusivity was once again the subject, with ELLE being ahead of the curve,
Sampaio broke the news last week on her Instagram, posting a photo of her backstage during a Victoria's Secret campaign. She captioned the photo; "Backstage chick" and tagged VS Pink.
The stunning model's agent, Erio Zanon, confirmed that the lingerie brand hired Valentina to be part of a campaign for the PINK line, which will be released in mid-August.
Many of us will recall Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer for Victoria's Secret's parent company, L Brands. The exec made controversial comments about plus size women and transgender models during an interview with Vogue last year.
Razek commented that Victoria's Secret had chosen not to include diverse women in the show, in terms of body physique and genders.
"Do I think about diversity? Yes. Does the brand think about diversity? Yes. Do we offer larger sizes? Yes," Razek told the magazine.
"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."
Please read this important message from Ed Razek, Chief Marketing Officer, L Brands (parent company of Victoria’s Secret). pic.twitter.com/CW8BztmOaM
— Victoria's Secret (@VictoriasSecret) November 10, 2018
Razek later apologised and retracted his comments, and his official statement was posted on Victoria's Secret's Twitter account:
"My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive," Razek wrote.
"I apologise. To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show. We've had transgender models come to castings…and like many others, they didn't make it…But it was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are."
Feature image: Instagram/@valentts