It looks like Victoria’s Secret is making strides in society with its first openly transgender model, Valentina Sampaio. CNN confirmed the news after Sampaio shared a picture on Instagram of her modeling for VS PINK. Sampaio’s agent, Erio Zanon, shared the confirmation that Sampaio was hired for a VS PINK campaign that will come out sometime in mid-August.
This comes at a bit of a shock, considering last year Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer of L Brands, said in a statement to Vogue that Victoria’s Secret would not include diverse models in its castings. In the statement, Razek said that he doesn’t think the annual fashion show should feature “transsexuals” because “the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”
Shortly after that, Razek came to Twitter to clarify what he meant. Razek attempted to clear the air and apologize. “To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model in our show. We’ve had transgender models come to castings…And like many others, they didn’t make it. It was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”
Victoria’s Secret also just announced that the annual fashion show would no longer be televised. Victoria’s Secret as a brand and especially the annual fashion show have received much criticism over the years for its lack of inclusivity.
Things might be looking up for the brand, however, as casting their first openly transgender model is reaching towards more inclusivity.
“Never stop dreaming genteee,” Valentina Sampaio wrote for an Instagram caption regarding her casting. And stopping, we won’t.