Emira D’Spain makes history by becoming the first black transgender model to work with Victoria’s Secret
Model and TikTok star Emira of Spain makes history as the first black transgender model to work with Victoria’s Secret.
D’Spain, known for her beauty tips and comedic “Get Ready With Me” makeup videos on TikTok, has teamed up with Victoria’s Secret to create a “Single Girl’s Guide to the Perfect Valentine’s Day,” an explanatory video for people who spend their holidays alone.
“The best love is self-love!” D’Spain captioned the video.
In the video, D’Spain was shown getting ready for a day of grooming, styling her hair in a red Victoria’s Secret corset, black miniskirt and jacket, and suede Louboutin boots. Then, D’Spain left for a day of self-care in New York, where she bought herself some diamond earrings and flowers.
“I don’t need a man to buy me flowers,” D’Spain said in the video, before concluding, “Valentine’s Day may be all about love, but that includes also to love yourself.”
D’Spain said the collaboration’s self-love theme is an extension of the positive message she wants to convey in her social media content. “My whole platform is built on confidence and self-love,” D’Spain said in a statement to USA TODAY.
She continued, “I want to empower young trans women and men around the world to show them that the beauty and fashion industries are changing, especially if you’re a POC. I’m so grateful to work with Victoria’s Secret. and I hope that paves the way for those after me.”
Victoria’s Secret’s collaboration with D’Spain is a departure from the brand’s storied history with trans representation. In a 2018 Vogue interview, then marketing director Ed Razek said he didn’t think the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show should include “transsexuals” because “the show is a fantasy”. Razek later apologized for his comments.
“To be clear, we would absolutely cast a transgender model on our show,” Razek said at the time. “We’ve had transgender models come to the castings… And like a lot of others, they didn’t make it… But it was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they truly are.
The importance of her collaboration with the beauty brand – as a trans and black woman – is not lost on D’Spain, who paid tribute to fellow transgender model Valentina Sampaio in a Instagram post Tuesday. Sampaio was the first transgender model to feature in the Victoria’s Secret campaign in 2019.
“Honored to be the first black trans girl to work with @victoriassecret,” D’Spain wrote alongside photos of herself from the video. “I dreamed of being a part of Victoria’s Secret as a child. @valentts paved the way and it’s such an honor to continue that legacy on the first day of Black History Month.
On Tuesday, Victoria’s Secret shared a Instagram post that the company was “thrilled to recognize February as a time to recognize black women.”
“Throughout the month, we’ll be spotlighting the associates, business leaders, advocates and industry trendsetters who inspire us every day #VSCelebratesBHM,” the caption reads.
D’Spain has also worked with major brands such as Google and beauty brands Anastasia Beverly Hills and Rihanna’s Fenty Skin.
Contributor: Sara M Moniuszko, Hannah Yasharoff
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Emira D’Spain: first black trans model to work with Victoria’s Secret