Victoria’s Secret has been struggling to remain relevant in modern times, but it just isn’t the behemoth it once was.
The company’s name has been marred by associations with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Many women just aren’t into the retailer’s offerings anymore. And they even canceled this year’s fashion show.
The famous lingerie company does, however, seem to realize they need a new approach. As they rework their image for a new era, what better way to do it than embracing diversity and inclusivity?
Enter the brand’s first-ever openly transgender model. Victoria’s Secret has now hired Brazilian model Valentine Sampaio, as evidenced by her Instagram account.
Sampaio posted a backstage photo from a recent shoot, captioning it “Backstage click,” and tagging the account for the brand’s Pink line.
Fellow Brazilian model and Victoria’s Secret Angel Lais Ribeiro also seemingly confirmed the news by tweeting about it. And, of course, Sampaio’s agent also confirmed the hiring to CNN on Monday as well.
Times have certainly changed for the underwear brand. Just last year the chief marketing officer for the brand’s parent company made a rather controversial remark about transgender models.
Limited Brands’ Ed Razek said “transsexuals” should not be included in the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show. “Why not?” He said, “Because the show is a fantasy.”
It should come as no surprise that some folks found that comment rather offensive. As such, Razek soon walked back the comments in a statement, saying it “came across as insensitive.”
He later added, they “would absolutely cast a transgender model for the show.”
Now, though the show is canceled, Victoria’s Secret is at least somewhat making good on that statement. However, it’s unclear if the brand truly has begun evolving for the better or if it’s just desperate for attention.
Regardless of the reasoning, we’re extremely excited for Sampaio. And we’re also secretly scrambling to find the best retinol creams and botox specialists, because dang.
In addition to her new gig with Victoria’s Secret, Sampaio is also the first transgender model to appear on a Vogue magazine cover – gracing the cover of Vogue Paris in March of 2017.
And seeing photos of the 22-year-old, there’s absolutely no reason anyone would ever suspect she was born a he. Therefore, it’s no surprise we should see her among the ranks of Gisele, Stella, Elsa, and others. Sampaio is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, and is certainly one to watch in the modeling world.
The Victoria’s Secret campaign featuring the model is set to be released sometime in mid-August. And we’re sure we’ll see more of her elsewhere in the future as well.