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Victoria’s Secret hires Valentina Sampaio, its first openly transgender model

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Victoria’s Secret officially hired its first openly transgender model less than a year after the company faced backlash for its comments on trans women.

Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio was hired recently by the company, her agent Erio Zanon confirmed to CNN Monday. It is unclear when, specifically, she was hired, but she has been posting on social media tagging Victoria’s Secret and promoting the company’s various campaigns for at least a week.

In November, Victoria’s Secret’s chief marketing officer made controversial remarks that “transsexuals” should not be featured in the brand’s shows.

“Why not? Because the show is a fantasy,” Razek said in an interview with Vogue. “It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”

Razek later apologized through a statement on the company’s Twitter account.

“My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show came across as insensitive. I apologize,” he wrote. “To be clear, we would absolutely cast a transgender model for the show.”

Fellow Victoria’s Secret models congratulated Sampaio’s hire.

“First transgender to shoot with Vs! This make me so happy!” tweeted Brazilian model Lais Ribeiro.

Tags LGBTQ Transgender Valentina Sampaio Victoria's Secret
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