Valentina Sampaio has once again made history as the first transgender model to be named the face of Armani Beauty.
The 22-year-old, who is from Brazil, joins the likes of actors Cate Blanchett, Ryan Reynolds, Nicholas Hoult, and fellow models Barbara Palvin and Madisin Rian as an ambassador of the Italian beauty brand.
‘I am so excited to be joining Armani as a beauty face. As a trans woman, this collaboration is a great milestone, and a personal dream come true for me,’ she said in a statement.
Breaking boundaries: Transgender model Valentina Sampaio, 22, has been named the new face of Armani Beauty. Her first campaign ad is for the brand’s Lip Power lipstick collection
‘Makeup has played such a meaningful role in my personal evolution, and I am grateful to Armani beauty for embracing diversity, enabling creative expression, and empowering individual beauty.’
Sampaio will star in the brand’s 2022 beauty campaigns shot by Swedish photographer Mikael Jansson.
The model’s first Armani ad is for the brand’s new Lip Power lipstick collection. The stunning image shows her posing in front of a red background with her pink pout on display as she gives the camera a come-hither gaze.
While she is sporting a rose-colored lip in the campaign, Sampaio told Elle that red lipstick has a special place in her heart.
‘Red lipstick is one of the few beauty products I remember my mom using,’ she said. ‘It was for special occasions, so a red lip symbolizes celebration, femininity, and beauty.’
Role model: Sampaio previously made history as the first openly transgender model to pose for Victoria’s Secret and the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue (pictured)
Meant to be: Last November, she posed alongside Giorgio Armani on the cover of a special issue of Harper’s Bazaar Spain, which the designer guest-edited
Sampaio has already broken through a lifetime of boundaries in her career, but it got off to a rough start.
She told BuzzFeed that she scored her first job in an ad campaign for a clothing company in 2014, but was fired when the company — which she wouldn’t name — found out she was trans.
‘It was a really difficult moment. It was like I was wrong to be in that place, like I didn’t belong there. But my reaction was just to get out of that situation,’ she said in the interview.
A few years later, she walked in in São Paulo Fashion Week and went on to book gigs with L’Oreal, Dior, H&M, Marc Jacobs, Moschino, and Philipp Plein.
Sampaio became the first trans model to appear on the cover of Vogue Paris in 2017. It was her first Vogue cover, but it wasn’t her last. She has also graced the cover of a number of other magazines, including Elle.
Proud: Sampaio (pictured at the Met Gala in September) described her new role as a ‘great milestone’ and a ‘personal dream,’ while praising the beauty label for ’embracing diversity’
Catwalker: The model has appeared on numerous magazine covers and walked the runway for the likes of Michael Costello in 2019 (left) and Jean-Paul Gaultier in 2020 (right)
She continued to break boundaries as the first transgender model to pose for Victoria’s Secret in 2019. The next year she was named a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie, and she made a stunning return to the iconic magazine in 2021.
Last November, she posed alongside Giorgio Armani on the cover of a special issue of Harper’s Bazaar Spain, which the designer guest-edited.
She was most recently featured in the V & VMAN 2021 calendar that was created in collaboration with Emporio Armani in celebration of the brand’s 40th anniversary.
‘Armani beauty is my vision of what beauty should be today: meaningful and cross-cutting. Just like my clothes, my beauty products aim to empower all women, regardless of their culture, country of origin, or background,’ Armani, 87, said in a statement.
‘I am proud to have Valentina as the new face of Armani beauty: I admire her will, commitment, and determination. Valentina is not afraid to speak and her words are important and touching.’