Published: Wed, August 07, 2019
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Hints That Victoria’s Secret Has Hired Its First Transgender Model

Hints That Victoria’s Secret Has Hired Its First Transgender Model

Brazilian model and actress Valentina Sampaio makes history as the first trans woman to model for Victoria's Secret.

Razek, who's been at the company since the '80s, has been a key figure in the highly sexualized, feminine beauty ideal put forth by the brand: He launched the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 1995, and has selected the models that are signed to its "Angel" spokesperson contract.

Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio wears a creation from the Amir Slama collection during Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, March 16, 2017.

Sampaio was not hired for the show, and the company is rethinking having one at all after ratings sagged last time around.

Like how many Victoria's Secret models get their start, Valentina will appear in the VS PINK back-to-campus campaign this August.

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These comments drew immediate criticism, including from supermodel Karlie Kloss, who announced that she would no longer be working with Victoria's Secret.

"I don't think we can be all things to all customers". She says she was supported throughout her journey by her family and community. "I apologize. To be clear, we would absolutely cast a transgender model for the show".

"The show is a fantasy", Razek said, after denying a place for transgender models in the show. The already-skinny Angels' excruciating pre-show diet and exercise routines have always been a subject of girl-talk lore, placing plus-size models on the VS chopping block as well. A week after his comments (and subsequent apology), CEO Jan Singer resigned, even though many critics called for Razek's resignation instead.

Victoria's Secret, famed for the jewel-encrusted bras and dazzling "angel" wings worn by supermodels at its annual fashion show, is battling falling sales as more women shift to cheaper bralettes and sports bras. "But it was never about gender. I don't think we should [have trans models]".

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