“Sports Illustrated” has been breaking barriers in the modeling industry for 56 years now, featuringTyra Banksas the first Black model in 1997,Halima Adenas the first model wearing a hijab in 2019… and now,Valentina Sampaio,the magazine’s first transgender model.
For its upcoming swimsuit issue, “SI” has named the 23-year-old Brazilian model a 2020 rookie and featured her as the first trans model in the glossy pages. This isn’t her first modeling milestone, either,she signed up to be the face of a Victoria’s Secret campaign last year.
“It’s a dream come true on so many levels. SI has been a deeply meaningful achievement,” Ampaio tells “People.” “To come from a space of fear and marginalization, to now being included in one of the most iconic magazines that truly embraces and celebrates diversity—it is life-changing.”