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Victoria's Secret announces 'Never Have I Ever' star as male brand ambassador

Darren Barnet, who plays Paxton Hall-Yoshida on the popular Netflix comedy, is making history.
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/ Source: TODAY

“Never Have I Ever” star Darren Barnet has been named Victoria’s Secret Pink’s first-ever celebrity male brand ambassador.

The clothing retailer made the announcement on Tuesday and confirmed in a press release that Barnet is partnering with Pink, the company’s lifestyle and loungewear brand. 

Barnet, who plays Paxton Hall-Yoshida on the popular Netflix comedy, will promote Pink’s gender-free collection while also helping support mental health awareness.

Darren Barnet in Season Two of Netflix's "Never Have I Ever."
Darren Barnet in Season Two of Netflix's "Never Have I Ever."Netflix

In the press release, Amy Hauk, CEO of Pink, said the company viewed Barnet as “such a positive role model for teens and young adults.”

She added, “As we focus on expanding our gender-free offerings and continue to evolve as a brand, we want to ensure our partners not only represent the diversity of our customers, but also embody individuality and self-confidence.”

The 30-year-old actor posted about being Pink’s brand ambassador on his Instagram on Tuesday. 

 “I am beyond excited to share some of these new styles but I am even more grateful that I can be a part of a good cause,” he wrote next to a few photos of him modeling pieces from the collection. “I wish mental health was more of a focus when I was a teenager and my hope is that we can reach those young adults who need to be heard and supported most.”

He echoed his excitement on his Instagram story and said he “could not be more stoked about it.” 

The actor also reposted a clip from Pink’s Instagram reel that showed behind-the-scenes footage of him sporting the brand’s gender-neutral clothes. 

Barnet’s collaboration with Pink follows Victoria's Secret's recent efforts to be more inclusive after years of critics pointing out the lack of diversity in the selection of Victoria’s Secret angels. 

In February, the intimates retailer revealed that model Sofia Jirau would star in a campaign for a new lingerie collection called Love Cloud. Jirau became the first model with Down syndrome to be featured by Victoria’s Secret. 

Last year, Victoria’s Secret announced a lineup of spokeswomen to reflect its dramatic shift. Megan Rapinoe, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and more influential women were selected as the new faces of the company and an initiative called The VS Collective. 

The beginning of Victoria’s Secret’s major changes seemed to start in 2019 when the company welcomed Brazilian model and actor Valentina Sampaio, the first transgender model to team up with the company. 

Sampaio, who was also included in the initiative, told TODAY in a statement last year that she was “honored and grateful to be a part of The VS Collective in celebration of authenticity, community and love for all women.” 

She continued, “Being a trans woman often means facing closed doors to people’s hearts. As a powerful global platform, Victoria’s Secret is committed to opening these doors for trans women like me, by celebrating, uplifting and advocating for ALL women.”