In this March 16, 2017, file photo Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio wears a creation from the Amir Slama collection during Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sampaio has become the first openly transgender model hired by Victoria’s

In this March 16, 2017, file photo Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio wears a creation from the Amir Slama collection during Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sampaio has become the first openly transgender model hired by Victoria’s Secret nearly a year after a top company official was pressured to apologize for implying trans women are off brand. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

Victoria's Secret hires first transgender model

August 5, 2019

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Valentina Sampaio has become the first openly transgender model hired by Victoria's Secret nearly a year after a top company official was pressured to apologize for implying trans women are off brand.

Sampaio, a Brazilian, has been posting from behind the scenes of a VS Pink campaign to the delight of celebrities who include Laverne Cox.

Cox who is also transgender, posted on one of Sampaio's photos: "Wow finally!"

Last November, marketing officer Ed Razek of parent L Brands Inc., said in a Vogue interview that the annual Victoria's Secret angels TV special would never include "transsexuals" because "the show is a fantasy." He apologized after outrage ensued.

Sampaio was not hired for the show, and the company is rethinking having a show at all after ratings sagged last time around.