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Victoria’s Secret Hires Openly Transgender Model Valentina Sampaio

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Victoria’s Secret has hired its first openly transgender model, the Brazilian model, Valentina Sampaio.

Sampaio announced the news via her Instagram on Thursday, where she posted a behind-the-scenes picture of herself and tagged a Victoria’s Secret official account in her caption, adding the hashtags #vspink and #campaign. On Monday, Sampaio’s agent, Erio Zanon, confirmed to CNN that the model was hired by Victoria’s Secret for a campaign for its Pink line, with the campaign debuting in mid-August.

On social media, Sampaio received support from a fellow Brazilian Victoria’s Secret model, Lais Ribeiro, who took to Twitter to share her excitement about the hire.

Sampaio’s hire follows a controversy from 2018 involving transphobic comments from Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer of the brand’s parent company, L-Brand. Razek was widely criticized after saying that there was “no interest” for plus-size or transgender models for the annual Victoria’s Secret runway show. He later apologized for his comments.

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Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com