This isn't the first time Valentina has broken records, either: she was the first trans model on any Vogue cover, appearing on the March 2017 cover of Vogue Paris and later appearing on the cover of Vogue Brazil and Vogue Germany. She has long been an outspoken advocate for trans rights, particularly in Brazil.
Speaking to Good Morning America following the announcement, Sampaio said she hoped to encourage others through her triumphs, too.
“It’s hard, but you have to stay strong,” she said. “We all are human. I love to see people, brands, and companies more open to fearlessly embracing the trans community with compassion and respect.”
Last month, she made an appearance on Pride Live's global Livestream event to benefit LGBTQ+ organizations affected by COVID-19.
"Much like in the United States and across the globe, transgender people in Brazil are marginalized," she previously told Vogue. "We are seen as immoral and labeled as 'something' perverted, widely insulted, publicly beaten, and in some cases murdered."
"It is rare to see a transgender person have a public-facing ‘official’ job," she said at the time. "Outside of Brazil, I have had the chance to meet trans people working in a great variety of professions. Salespeople in fashion, cashiers in supermarkets, makeup artists, security, and many other careers. It brings me great happiness to arrive somewhere and feel represented."