Lingerie empire Victoria's Secret has signed its first-ever transgender model after an executive for the company publicly made transphobic remarks last year.

Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio, 22, took to Instagram on Thursday night to share that she was excited to officially be a Victoria's Secret angel.

She made the announcement with behind-the-scenes images of her photoshoot for the Victoria Secret's Pink collection.

With one photo, she captioned it: "Backstage click."


In another, she wrote: "Never stop dreaming [people]," along with the hashtag '#diversity'.

Last year, the company came under fire when Victoria's Secret parent company L Brands' chief marketing officer Ed Razek defended the lack of transgender models in the fashion show.

Speaking to Vogue magazine at the time, Razek said he didn't think transgender models should be included in the event, as "the [fashion] show is a fantasy."

"I don't think we can be all things to all customers. It's a specialty business. It isn't a department store... We market to who we sell to, and we don't market to the whole world ... I don't think we should [have trans models]."

After being slammed for his transphobic comments by high profile celebrities such as Rihanna, he quickly issued an apology.

In 2017, Sampaio was the first-ever transwoman to be on the cover of Vogue.

While she's yet to adress Razek's comments, she's previously spoken out about how growing up, she never felt victimised by anti-trans discrimination - and that her parents always supported how she identified.

She said: "At age eight, my mother took me to a psychologist. At that time, I already loved being around girls. I felt like one of them, and I ha a collection of dolls," she told Brazilian newspaper, Diario de Nordeste.


"The psychologist understood at the time that I was transgender. Twelve years old, I started to call myself Valentina, a name I heard once and I thought was beautiful."

In 2017, Sampaio was the first ever transwoman to be on the cover of Vogue. Photo / Instagram
In 2017, Sampaio was the first ever transwoman to be on the cover of Vogue. Photo / Instagram

Fellow Brazilian Victoria Secret Angel Lais Ribeiro was quick to send Sampaio her congratulations.

"First transgender to shoot with VS! This make me so happy!" she said on Twitter.

The news follows the announcement that the Victoria's Secret show has been cancelled this year, amid declining sales and terrible ratings.

The cancellation news came just two months after Leslie Wexner - who is the Chief Executive of Victoria's Secret parent company L Brands - claimed that the show would no longer air on network television after 24 years due to a plunge in ratings.

For the last seven quarters, the company has reported a decline in sales in its more than 1100 stores in the US, and viewership of the Victoria's Secret fashion show reportedly plummeted last year.