Valentina Sampaio

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Valentina Sampaio
Born (1996-12-10) 10 December 1996 (age 22)
OccupationModel, actress
Years active2016–present
Modeling information
Height1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)[1]
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorGreen
AgencyThe Lions

Valentina Sampaio is a Brazilian model and actress. She became Victoria's Secret's first openly transgender model in August 2019.[2]

Early life[edit]

Valentina Sampaio was born in a fishing village in Aquiraz, Ceará, which is in Northeastern Brazil. Her mother is a schoolteacher and her father is a fisherman.[3]

At 8 years of age, her psychologist identified her as transgender, but she did not start calling herself Valentina until she was 12. She has said "I always felt like a girl,” but she chooses not to reveal what her name was before she chose Valentina or when she transitioned.[3]

She has said in many interviews that she was not bullied for her gender identification.[4] A 2017 New York Times profile of Sampaio mentioned that her parents "were always supportive and are very proud" of her, and his classmates were also very accepting because she said that "they already saw me as a little girl."[3]

Sampaio initially studied architecture in Fortaleza, but she dropped out at 16 to study at a fashion college. It was there that a makeup artist discovered her and signed her with a São Paulo modeling agency.[4][5]

She is not related to Portuguese model Sara Sampaio.[6]

Modeling career[edit]

In 2014, a clothing company fired Sampaio from her first modeling job because of her transgender identification. Although she was supposed to be in one of their ad campaigns, the company - which she has not disclosed - told her that the brand was conservative and its clients would not be receptive to a transgender model.[7] Despite this hurdle at the very beginning of her career, she left her home state of Ceará for the first time to act in an independent film in Rio de Janeiro that later debuted at São Paulo Fashion Week.[7]

In November 2016, she first walked her first runway at São Paulo Fashion Week. Soon after, L'Oréal made a short film about Sampaio, which they released on International Women's Day, and later the company made her one of the company's brand ambassadors.[4] She is a L'Oréal Paris spokeswoman along with several other Brazilian women including: Grazi Massafera, Taís Araújo, Juliana Paes, Isabeli Fontana, Emanuela de Paula, Ágatha Moreira, and Sophia Abrahão.[8]

In February 2017, Sampaio received international media attention after appearing on the cover of Vogue Paris and becoming the first transgender model to appear on the magazine's cover. [9] Later that year, she also appeared the covers of Vogue Brasil and Vogue Germany. She is the first openly transgender woman to be featured on both magazines' covers as well.[10][11] Other magazine cover appearances of Sampaio's include Vanity Fair Italia, Elle Mexico, and L'Officiel Turkiye. She has also worked with brands such as Dior, H&M, Marc Jacobs,[12] Moschino, L'Oréal, and Philipp Plein.[13] She is now signed with New York modeling agency The Lions.[12]

In 2018, she was photographed on her way to the casting of the 2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show but she was not hired.[4]

In early August 2019, Sampaio indicated her association with Victoria's Secret PINK on her Instagram account,[14] making her the first openly transgender Victoria's Secret model.[15] Her agent confirmed that VS PINK had hired Sampaio for a catalog photo shoot that will be released sometime in August.[16][17] Nearly all news sources that covered Sampaio's hiring mentioned the timing between this hiring and the notorious November 2018 Vogue interview in which the Victoria's Secret parent company's chief marketing officer Ed Razek commented that he doesn't think that the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show should feature "transsexuals" in the show.[17][18][19] The day after news about Sampaio's hiring came out, Razek resigned.[20]



Year Title Character
2017 A Força do Querer ("Force of Will", English title Edge of Desire) herself[21]


Year Title Character
2017 Berenice Procura Isabelle[22]

Personal life[edit]

She is rumored to be dating businessman Wes Meadows.


  1. ^ Gustavo Abreu (21 February 2017). "Valentina Sampaio: a modelo brasileira que têm orgulho de ser ícone o movimento transgênero". Redação Donna. Donna.
  2. ^ Woodyatt, Amy (2019-08-05). "Victoria's Secret hires Valentina Sampaio, its first openly transgender model". CNN Style. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  3. ^ a b c Thomas, Dana (2017-03-01). "French Vogue's March Cover Features a Transgender Model". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  4. ^ a b c d Hanbury, Mary. "Victoria's Secret has reportedly hired its first openly transgender model. Here's everything we know about her/him". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  5. ^ "Brazil Transgender Model Valentina Sampaio 'Fighting For Better World'". Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  6. ^ "Valentina Sampaio Is Reportedly Victoria's Secret's 1st Trans Model". E! Online. August 4, 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  7. ^ a b Kaiser, Anna Jean. "Meet The Transgender Model Who Broke Fashion's Highest Barrier". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  8. ^ "Modelo transgênera Valentina Sampaio é a nova porta-voz da L'Oréal Paris". Huff Post. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Primeira transexual capa da Vogue Paris, brasileira diz: "Evoluí com o preconceito"". Época. 19 February 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Valentina Sampaio em dose dupla na Vogue Brasil de dezembro". Vogue. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Ícone trans, modelo Valentina Sampaio é destaque na Vogue alemã". Ig. 27 July 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  12. ^ a b "For Valentina Sampaio, Victoria's Secret Is Only the Beginning". Vogue. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  13. ^ Sloan, Elizabeth (2019-08-05). "Valentina Sampaio: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  14. ^ "Valentina Sampaio on Instagram: "Backstage click @vspink 💕💕 #bastidores #new #vspink #campaign #representatividade #diversity #beauty #selfie #model #life #fashion #usa…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  15. ^ "Valentina Sampaio Becomes the First Transgender Model to Work with Victoria's Secret". Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  16. ^ Hauser, Christine (2019-08-05). "Victoria's Secret Casts First Openly Transgender Woman as a Model". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  17. ^ a b Rivas, Mekita. "Victoria's Secret Hires Valentina Sampaio, Its First Transgender Model". Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  18. ^ Bain, Marc. "Victoria's Secret has its first transgender model". Quartzy. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  19. ^ Fashionista. "Victoria's Secret Hires First Transgender Model Valentina Sampaio". Fashionista. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  20. ^ Bramley, Ellie Violet (2019-08-06). "Marketing boss quits Victoria's Secret after first trans model hired". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  21. ^ "Top trans Valentina Sampaio exalta participação em 'A Força do Querer': 'Livre'". Terra. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Valentina Sampaio fará sua estreia no cinema: "gravei todos os tipos de cena. Foi intenso!"". Vogue. 21 March 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.