New York, NY (Vogue Magazine) — Brazilian-born model Valentina Sampaio is the first trans woman to grace @SInow’s swimsuit issue.
The groundbreaking Brazilian model is front and center in 2020’s swimsuit issue.
The inclusive spirit of Sports Illustrated’s current model lineup can be credited to the publication’s longtime editor in chief, MJ Day. Day included Graham as the first plus-size model in 2016; Halima Aden as its first hijabi face in 2019; and had Banks return at the age of 46 to dazzle on the cover in 2019, all of which has heightened the relevance of the annual issue. For Day, the casting process is more about character than how someone looks in a bikini. “Our goal in selecting who we feature is centered around identifying some of the most inspiring, interesting, and multidimensional women that we can find,” she says. Sampaio had been on Day’s radar for her activism within the LGBTQIA community. “We are deeply moved that Valentina was willing to put her trust in us,” says Day. “We didn’t think twice about wanting to amplify her voice and message and give her a platform to advocate from on behalf of her personal aspirations and the trans community.” — Janelle Okwodu/@voguemagazine