Valentina Sampaio is raising awareness for the LGBTQ community with an NFT and short film.
The transgender model has teamed with the Lions Management and blockchain company Lukso to create the digital assets to benefit an array of LGBTQ organizations, such as the Ali Forney Center, GLAAD and Pride Live.
Sampaio features in a short film — named “Lambada Dyed Red White Blue” and directed by Branislav Jankic and Jesse Ball — where she names the 34 transgender and nonconforming people who have been killed due to anti-trans violence in the U.S. this year. She posted the short film to her Instagram on Tuesday.
The video ends with Sampaio being placed into a digitally altered dress in a red, white and blue colorway, which is meant to symbolize and memorialize the transgender lives lost. A CGI version of the dress, which is designed by digital artist Neri, is being auctioned off as an NFT through Sept. 17. The current bid for the NFT is $200,000. Sampaio’s image in the dress was also featured on the cover of V Magazine’s recent digital edition.
“This NFT dress is in the element of blood,” she wrote on Instagram. “Blood that gives us life. Blood that gives life to the trans lives we have lost. Blood that unites us all.”
The NFT and short film are pegged to the recent Met Gala’s American fashion theme, and focuses on the question of what it means to be American as a transgender person. Sampaio made her Met Gala debut at Monday’s event wearing a crimson-hued Iris van Herpen dress.
“I hope that young trans women can see women like us at the Met Gala and other cultural epicenters and come to know that trans women do belong,” she said in a statement. “Our existence and visibility matter.”
The Brazilian model has grown in prominence over the last few years. Her modeling career has included many historic moments, such as becoming Victoria’s Secret’s first transgender model and becoming the first transgender model to appear on a worldwide Vogue cover on the March 2017 cover of French Vogue.
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