French Vogue Makes History With First Transgender Cover Model

"This month we are proud to celebrate transgender beauty,” said the magazine, confirming Valentina Sampaio as its cover star.

For the first time in the magazine’s 97-year history, Vogue Paris put a transgender model on its cover ― Brazil’s Valentina Sampaio.

Sampio appears on the magazine’s March issue, which is the second biggest cover of the year for any fashion magazine. The issue hits newsstands on Feb. 23. The cover’s celebratory headline reads, “Transgender beauty: How they’re shaking up the world.”

“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 Paris wrote in an Instagram post announcing the cover Monday.

American Vogue also said its March cover was a celebration of diversity, but the publication quickly came under fire for seemingly Photoshopping plus-size model Ashley Graham.

Vogue Paris Editor-in-Chief Emmanuelle Alt wrote on the magazine’s website that she wanted to feature Sampaio solo on the cover because she is “the absolute equal of Gisele, Daria, Edie or Anna,” referring to the modeling industry’s top stars.

“In a post-gendered world which more and more designers are highlighting on their runways, Trans people, the ultimate symbols of a rejection of conformity, are icons that Vogue supports and chooses to celebrate,” Alt added.

Sampaio previously appeared on Elle Brazil’s November 2016 cover. Last year, the model starred in a L’Oreal ad celebrating femininity on International Women’s Day.

“This is my first Women’s Day, officially,” Sampaio said as she got ready to take her picture for her new ID.

Sampaio will celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, which is on March 8, as a Vogue cover star.

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