Valentina Sampaio Covers ELLE France in Fashion Classics by Sebastian Kim

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Valentina Sampaio Covers ELLE France in Fashion Classics by Sebastian Kim

Victoria’s Secret’s new model Valentina Sampaio covers the October 11, 2019 issue of ELLE France, lensed by Sebastian Kim. Stylist Isabel Dupre chooses classic looks from Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Wolford and more./ Hair by Zaiya Latt; makeup by Hung Vanngo

Celebrated for her achievement in joining the “new and improved” Victoria’s Secret, Valentina Sampaio told Vogue:

“Imagine a world where it is not news that a transgender model has been appointed by a fashion brand,” she says. “Wouldn’t that be amazing?! Because it would mean that it is normal and it is happening all the time. I want to see this across all communities. Ultimately I want to live in a world with more respect for every kind of human being.”

Valentina Sampaio Shoots Pink Campaign for Victoria's Secret, As Ed Razek Steps Down from L Brands

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We have the welcome news that Victoria’s Secret Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek has retired in the wake of growing fallout around Jeffrey Epstein’s connections to L Brands chief and major stockholder Les Wexner. The plot has thickened so deep that even I — who worked in the business for a decade and knew both men well — am waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Razek was riding high — not in terms of VS revenues and profits, which were clobbered last year — but in an interview with Vogue in advance of the now cancelled, annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Among the tough questions fielded to Razek was one about using ‘transsexual’ models in the fashion show.

Razek claimed that “transsexual” models should not be cast “because the show is fantasy.” We know he meant “male fantasy” which is among the many reasons for the decline of VS. Former Victoria’s Secret Angel Karlie Kloss and current Angel Lily Aldridge clapped back online, stating that trans and gender non-conforming lives are not up for debate.

In a bit of poetic justice, Razek is out and transgender beauty Valentina Sampaio, a 22-year-old model hailing from Brazil, has shot a new campaign for Victoria’s Secret Pink.

I find Sampaio’s sultry, intoxicating images to be more conducive for the VS mothership, but whatever role she plays, we say kudos.

Hiring Sampaio won’t begin to solve Victoria’s Secret’s problems, but at least we know that new VS CEO John Mehas is putting his foot down. Mehas most recently was president of Tory Burch and from all we know, his thinking is much more advanced in terms of today’s women and also the attitudes of young shoppers than either Razek’s or Wexner’s.

Valentina Sampaio Covers Vanity Fair Italy June 2018, Lensed By Giovanni Gastel

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Rising model Valentina Sampaio drips in luxe in 'Perfect Dream', the June 2018 cover story in Vanity Fair Italy. Against the backdrop of sensual dress cuts of black, silver and ivory, Valentina wears glittering luxe jewelry from Tiffany & Co., Harry Winston and Cartier, lensed by Giovanni Gastel.Hair by Stefano Gatti; makeup by Silvia Dell'orto

Valentina Sampaio Sizzles In Alexandre Herchcovitch For HOPE Lingerie F/W 2017 Campaign

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Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio sizzles in high drama, lingerie seduction from Alexandre Herchcovitch for Brazilian brand HOPE lingerie. Styled by Maurício Ianês, Valentina -- the first transgender model to cover Vogue Paris -- poses in classic lingerie bras and panties, bodysuits and chemises lensed by Michael Willian

EYE: Balmain & L'Oreal Paris UNITED WE ARE INVINCIBLE Campaign Brings Fashion Tribes Together

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EYE: Balmain & L'Oreal Paris UNITED WE ARE INVINCIBLE Campaign Brings Fashion Tribes Together

In the age of Trump, the L'Oreal Paris and Balmain collaboration is exactly what we need. Olivier Rousteing's Balmain army stands strong with 12 diverse top models fronting the campaign behind the core message: UNITED, WE ARE INVINCIBLE.

The capsule collection includes 12 couture matte shades by Color Riche in shades ranging from deep plums to sweet pinks. Models Doutzen Kroes, Lara Stone, Cindy Bruna, Ming Xi, Luma Grothe, Neelam Gill, Alexia Graham, Valentina Sampaio, Soo Joo Park, Grace Bol and Maria Borges appear in the advertisements, lensed by Nico Bustos.

The diverse range of models, hailing from all over the world, was an intentional choice to not just show the play of color across various skin tones, but to champion diversity — an especially topical theme in the aftermath of Charlottesville and Barcelona.  

Headlines in today's news include How Germany Deals With Neo-Nazis and a truly-sad one Calais Brawls leave 20 migrants injured. The fighting of 200 migrants threatening each other with sticks and iron bars involved five mass brawls that mainly pitted Afghans against Eritreans.

The real world is knocking on fashion's door.  While we drift above it, the knocking is louder every day, making this Balmain/L'Oreal Paris campaign unusually relevant. For all politically-correct types who might critique it as superficial, I say it's great. 

"No matter your origin, no matter your tribe. Come together, be seen, be heard. United, we are invincible. Because we are all worth it," Balmain's 31-year-old Olivier Rousteing says about the collaboration.