Five Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Models Helping to Change the Face of Fashion
More and more, fashion houses and designers are challenging conventional perceptions of gender by routinely featuring transgender and gender non-conforming models in campaigns and on the runway. Today, Louis Vuitton continued the tradition, tapping 17-year-old Jaden Smith as the face of its womenswear SS16 campaign.
Smith frequently makes headlines for his on-point fashion choices, which he told GQ is how just he expresses how he feels about himself and the world.
Here are five models helping to change the face of beauty in 2015.
1. Andreja Pejic
In 2011, Pejic broke out onto the scene as a gender non-conforming model and was featured in menswear and womenswear lines for powerhouses like Jean-Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs.
Three years later, Pejic came out as transgender, and in 2015 made history as the first transgender model to be profiled in Vogue.
2. Rain Dove
Rain Dove identifies as genderqueer and can be found on the runway for menswomen and womenswear lines.
“The gender thing doesn’t exist; it’s a social construct you don’t have to fit into,” Dove told Buzzfeed News earlier this year.
3. Elliott Sailors
Sailors, who has walked for the likes of Vivienne Westwood, identifies as a women and has worked both sides of the catwalk.
“It’s not essential to even call it menswear or womenswear anymore,” she told Details earlier this year.
4. Casey Legler
At 35 years old, Casey Legler, made fashion history after Ford Models picked her up as the first woman signed to a contract exclusive to male-modeling. She touts herself as the world’s first “female male model.”
"If the image of me out there in the world makes it easier for one more kid to think that there's some [expletive] space for them, then that's the business I'm into,” she told Australian Broadcasting Corporation News in March.
5. Tracey Africa Norman
Norman isn’t new to the industry, but no list could be complete without this trailblazer. Picked up in the mid-1970s by Italian Vogue, Norman quickly ascended through the ranks and became a house model for Balenciaga. In 2015, forty years after a career that launched her face onto Clariol hair color boxes, the 63-year-old model reemerged in a sit down with New York magazine to discuss her life as the first black, transgender model.
Who are your favorite LGBT models killing the game right now? Tell us in the comments below.