Victoria’s Secret first selected transgender models

On August 5, the US medical firm announced that it would choose Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio – for a new advertising campaign.


Valentina Sampaio is 22 years old, is the face of L’Oréal and has been featured on Vogue and Elle magazine many times. On the personal page, long legs share a video behind the scenes photoshoot for Pink – Victoria’s Secret’s line of young women. She wrote: “Never stop dreaming”.

The decision of the insider received support from many people, including transgender actress Laverne Cox, Lily Aldridge… Lais Ribeiro expressed on Twitter: “The first transgender photographer with Victoria’s Secret! That makes me very happy”.

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The selection of Valentina Sampaio took place after more than half a year when the brand faced a violent reaction to the statements of Ed Razek – L Brands’ marketing manager, Victoria’s Secret parent company. In an interview with Vogue magazine in November last year, he said: “I don’t think giving the transgender performances. The show is a miracle, a special entertainment program lasting 42 minutes. We also made shows for fat people in 2000 but no one cared”.

In the past year, the US medical firm has been constantly facing many financial and image crises. According to Bloomberg, Victoria’s Secret sales slipped, down 3% in 2018. This year, parent company L Brands decided to close 53 Victoria’s Secret stores. In May, the New York Times reported that the show would no longer be broadcast on television because of reduced viewership. Leslie Wexner – executive director of L Brand (Victoria’s Secret parent company) – said he and his colleagues decided to review the traditional fashion show.

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On July 30, Victoria’s Secret longtime model – Shanina Shaik – told the Daily Telegraph this year that it may be canceled. “Unfortunately, the company’s annual fashion show will not happen this year. That’s something I don’t know because every year around this time I practice like the angels. I think the brand trying to work and find new ways to perform the show”, she said. Representative Victoria’s Secret has not spoken yet.

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Victoria’s Secret was founded by Roy Raymond on June 12, 1977 with the first store in Palo Alto, California (USA). Raymond sold the brand to businessman Leslie Wexner in 1982. Under Wexner’s hand, Victoria’s Secret empire shines and is worth billions of dollars. Sensual and liberal images have accompanied the brand, conquering fashion villages. In 2001, Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show began airing on ABC – one of the largest television channels in the US – and immediately became a media phenomenon. The period from 2004 to 2006 was considered the golden age of Victoria’s Secret show.

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