Victoria’s Secret has hired its first transgender model, Valentina Sampaio. The move comes after controversy around the lingerie brand’s diversity, particularly in regards to their annual fashion shows.
Valentina Sampaio, a Brazilian model and actress, shared behind-the-scenes snaps from a Victoria’s Secret PINK shoot over the weekend.
The move comes after Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek made some pretty fucked comments to Vogue regarding the lack of diversity when it comes to the brand’s models.
“Do I think about diversity? Yes. Does the brand think about diversity? Yes. Do we offer larger sizes? Yes. 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.”
The statement led to multiple Victoria’s Secret models (Lily Aldridge, Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss) speaking out in support of trans women, and seemingly led to Kloss’s move away from the brand in general. Kloss spoke candidly to British Vogue recently about her decision.
“I didn’t feel it was an image that was truly reflective of who I am and the kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful.”
Finally hiring a transgender woman is a great move for Victoria’s Secret, but the brand has a long way, in my opinion, to go if they want to be seen as diverse and inclusive. Gone are the days of parading a homogenous group of models down a runway – we want to see women of all backgrounds, cultures and sizes. Here’s hoping this is the first of many developments towards representation for the brand.