First Transgender Woman Cast in Victoria Secret Catalog

First Transgender Woman Cast in Victoria Secret Catalog

Victoria's Secret has cast Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio, an openly transgender woman, for a catalog photo shoot. This announcement marks the first time Victoria's Secret has cast a transgender person for a catalog or brand campaign. Does this mean the lack of diversity and inclusion in the advertising industry is finally changing? 

In the past, Victoria's Secret CMO, Ed Razek, has caught flack for expressing a lack of interest in casting transgender and plus-size models. The company recently announced that Mr. Razek was leaving the company, in part because of his problematic comments. Recently, the brand has received criticism for being old fashioned and out of touch. The Victoria's Secret has lost a significant market share to brands like Fashion Nova and Savage X Fenty. Recently, Karlie Kloss left Victoria's Secret because "The kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful." The change in leadership and casting practices has been seen by many as overdue. 

In 2017, Playboy cast the first-ever transgender cover model. On top of that, the brand's GAP and H&M have both created campaigns featuring LGBTQ models. So this move by Victoria's Secret could be seen as a catalyst for casting trends in the apparel advertising industry. 

Lead photo by WestportWiki used under Creative Commons. 

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75 Comments

What this have to do with photography?

Playboy already posted some transgender model pic by photographer Brian Duffy.... but its different story

Back to Victoria's Secret dump move very dump move now they targeting what 1% of market then rest of man will recommend they wife's/girlfriends to buy other brands ...

for majority of man transgender women is massive turn-off ....

Leigh Miller's picture

It has everything to do with photography.

Most of the images created by GWC's are of very YOUNG girls who are thin, etc etc etc.

Good idea to include the other 90% of the population that might not conform to the "usual".

Martin Van Londen's picture

It is about photography because it has to do with a photoshoot. If it was about a runway model it would not be an article.

Victoria's Secret Pink is actually apparel and not lingerie... So my guess is most women are buying it from themselves and not for a man.

Matt Williams's picture

"for majority of man transgender women is massive turn-off"

no one cares

Well i dont realy see how this related to photography.... then i opend fstoppers i expect to see articles about camers etc.. then i open news paper i expect to see all type of articles in diferent topics.... once again this is not news it was month ago .... and we discusing about women with cocks.... not cameras ..... or pictures same problem with Victoria's secret they had this problem for years brand without identity one of the reasons in failed in europe and now on the edge of bankruptcy.... but yeah good for LGBTQ ppl not for brand again men will look somewear else and this brand wasn't designed for women in first place ....

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

It seems you care...

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

It seems you care....

Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

🧐
And sorry for the double post, wasn't by purpose...

Michelle DeVita's picture

"What this have to do with photography? ... for majority of man transgender women is massive turn-off ...."

There is a lot more to photography than the limited category of what men find arousing. Also, there are some interesting statistics that seem to be contrary to your claim.

Leigh Miller's picture

About d*mn time....

Yup, yet another sellout to add to the growing list. People in the targeted demographic see this as a sign of equality, but everyone else sees it as the cash grab it really is. Nobody ever stopped LGBTQ people from shopping at Victoria's Secret or wearing their products.

Michael Holst's picture

"Nobody ever stopped LGBTQ people from shopping at Victoria's Secret or wearing their products."

Then what's wrong with the brand having a trans person in the catalog?

"cash grab" They are not authentic about what they are saying they are doing and for what reasons they are doing it. they are a corporation and will do what ever is necessary to make money. The same goes with all forms of media and consumables. Gillette is a prime example. They made those commercials demonizing men because it was popular at the time and it blew up in their faces. They demonized their customer base. Now they are pulling a full 180 on that campaign. They lost $8 BILLION dollars. With a capital "B". It's always about money when it comes to business.

Martin Van Londen's picture

VS has some credibility for this move. Trans people do buy there product. And let’s be honest woman don’t care about this the way men do. On the other hand Gillette belittled the majority of their customer base.

Michael Holst's picture

Literally every thing a company does is a cash grab unless they are donating money to some sort of cause but even then, they typically do so because it promotes the firm's "goodwill". As Martin just mentioned above my comment, Trans people shop there so why is it crazy that VS take the opportunity to include someone in that demo in their marketing materials?

Comparing this to Gillette is a reach because VS is being inclusive. Anyone triggered into boycotting is doing so out of prejudice. It's kinda silly that Gillette got people mad but that's a completely different topic and not relevant here.

J. Chiu's picture

You have the wrong Sampaio in the article image.

Martin Van Londen's picture

Thank you, and Sorry. I am fixing that.

user-128252's picture

I think FSTOPPERS is doing what they believe are right to bring clicks, but I think it is way too much LGBT propaganda for me.

Martin Van Londen's picture

This is newsworthy not propaganda. I did not give any opinions just facts and questions.

Au contraire. It is completely narrative driven. As far as newsworthy, that certainly is an opinion.

Scott Wardwell's picture

When you use the words "...lack of diversity and inclusion..." in a declarative statement; it is propaganda.

Nicholas K's picture

My partner is trans and both of us are not in the remotest bit impressed by this. Victoria's Secret works by selling raw sex appeal which this trans model is very much lacking. There are millions of hot trans women, why pick such a *meh* specimen? (Also, as somebody else said - the photo on Fstoppers is not the model in question, go look at the NYT article you link to for clarification).

user-128252's picture

Believe or not, I do not even understand what you are describing. But I am completely sure you feel more and more at home here in this world which makes me realize my home is somewhere else. I do not feel at home here.

Nicholas K's picture

Let me direct your shrill self to the dictionary.

The meaning of specimen is "person".

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/specimen

Jared Wolfe's picture

So I looked at the model in questions IG and TBH I can't tell the difference between her and any other of the models VS typically uses. Thin and exotic looking. It kind of begs the question WTF the point is. Do trans women not identify with CIS women? Only other trans? What if some trans person see an ad with the new Trans model but doesn't know the model is trans?

I realize a lot of it is just about the message it sends and providing opportunities and all but still a tad perplexing. Good luck VS. I am sure your transparent pandering will yield double digit sales growth!

Martin Van Londen's picture

You bring up a lot of good points. I think the bigger question is does VS move beyond typical beauty standards.

David Love's picture

Anything for a headline I guess.

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