Transgender Model Valentina Sampaio Breaks All the Rules with Vogue Paris Cover
From Paris to New York, the past few months have been lively in the world of fashion politics. Now joining the conversation is Vogue Paris, introducing its first transgender model, Valentina Sampaio. First launched in 1920, the French sister of American Vogue has long set itself as industry leader in style. However, politics, not as much. Reigning editor-in-chief Emmauelle Alt is looking to change that. First taking over in 2011 after the departure of Carine Roitfeld, we can’t exactly say that Alt has championed diversity. Looking through the archives, Liya Kebede’s 2015 cover represents the only black cover model during her tenure. The lack of diversity also earned the French title a spot on the international list of least diverse fashion magazines this past year. However, if Alt is fighting for diversity now with the magazine’s first transgender cover model- we sincerely applaud her.
Lensed by fashion it team Mert Alas & Marcus Piggot, Valentina serves up sultry beauty for two separate dreamy, covers. Inside the issue the transgender model and actress poses in a collection of mesmerizing beauty and fashion images. Valentina dons rich spring fashion from brands like Balenciaga and Saint Laurent, alongside glamorous jewels. It’s apparent that this isn’t Valentina Sampaio’s first photo shoot. In fact, the model’s first big break was a cover appearance on Elle Brazil, November 2016.
Titled, ‘Transgender beauty: How they’re shaking up the world” the publication makes its motives clear. Similarly, Emmanuelle Alt has been very vocal about the importance of putting a transgender model on the cover. “We are living in a world at the moment, what is happening right now, we are stepping back,” she explains. “Instead of being in a constant evolution, which is what should happen, human rights…they’re not going in a good direction. This cover is about the importance of those rights, and that we still need to make progress on an awful lot of stuff.”
Afterwards, Vogue Paris expands upon Alt’s statement as it officially releases the cover with an Instagram post. “This month we are proud to celebrate transgender beauty and how models like Valentina Sampaio, who is posing for her first ever Vogue cover, are changing the face of fashion and deconstructing prejudice,” Vogue posts. Now let’s just see how many more forms of prejudice the French glossy addresses over the next few months. Surely it won’t stop at just the cover for one transgender model, right? All things considered, it’s still quite the statement.
You can see more of first transgender model, Valentina Sampaio on Vogue Paris starting February 23 on newsstands worldwide. Until then, see more of the story in the gallery below.