Transgender model Valentina Sampaio hopes her new role with Victoria’s Secret is a step towards more inclusivity in the fashion industry.
The Brazilian star hit headlines last week when it was revealed she had become the first openly transgender model to work with the lingerie brand in its 42-year history.
In a new interview with Vogue, Sampaio said she’s “happy and proud” to have landed the gig for the VS Pink line and hopes it is a step in the right direction towards more acceptance in the business.
“Being appointed the first transgender model for the brand is a hugely important moment not only for myself but (for) my community and beyond,” she said. “I hope (this can) be a huge step toward more inclusivity and representation for everybody.
“My dream (now) is to live in a world where representation is celebrated… I believe brands are beginning to see the value of inclusiveness, but there is a lot more work to do in our industry, culture, and society. I truly hope to be able to work with more brands that understand the importance of this.”
Sampaio first rose to prominence when she was tapped for the March 2017 cover of Vogue Paris, becoming the first transgender model to grace the front of any Vogue magazine. She has since worked for the likes of L’Oreal, Dior, H&M, and Marc Jacobs.
Accordingly, the model hopes to use her visibility and platform “to try to change the status quo” and is looking forward to a future where it won’t be deemed newsworthy for transgender stars to be on magazines or work with fashion brands.
“Imagine a world where it is not news that a transgender model has been appointed by a fashion brand,” the 22-year-old continued. “Wouldn’t that be amazing?! Because it would mean that it is normal, and it is happening all the time. I want to see this across all communities. Ultimately, I want to live in a world with more respect for every kind of human being.”
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