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Victoria’s Secret hires first transgender model

Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio wears a creation from the Amir Slama collection March 16, 2017, during Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

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.

Valentina Sampaio walks the runway during Le Defile L’Oreal Paris as part of Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2018 at Avenue Des Champs Elysees on Oct. 1, 2017 in Paris. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for L’Oreal Paris)

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!”

Laverne Cox attends the final season premiere of Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” at Alice Tully Hall on July 25, 2019, in New York. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

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 one at all after ratings sagged last time around.