By Cady Lang
August 5, 2019

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.

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

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