13 Transgender Models Who Are Redefining The Runway

Meet the men and women taking the industry by storm—on their own terms.

Runways and magazine covers are opening up to trans and non-binary models, who in turn are redefining beauty, gender, and glamour for a new generation.

The fashion industry still has a long way to go with visibility and acceptance, but these catwalk queens and kings are leading the charge.

Watch Made to Model: Trans Beauty in Fashion, a digital documentary uniting pioneering trans models with the fresh faces of today.

  1. Hari Nef

    The epitome of New York cool, Hari Nef is signed to IMG models and has walked in shows for Eckhaus Latta and Hood By Air, and appeared in & Other Stories’ recent campaign. Nef is also a gifted writer and talented actress with an upcoming role on Transparent Season 2. She’s like a modern day Carrie Bradshaw, but way more badass.

  2. Teddy Quinlivan

    Christian Vierig/Getty Images

    Quinlivan came out as trans during New York Fashion Week in 2017, where she walked for Coach, Tory Burch, Oscar de la Renta, and Marc Jacobs.

    The 23-year-old shared her story in a series of candid Instagram posts.

    “I want to help break the stigma of what it means to be transgender. We need more and more trans voices to speak out and share our humanity so that the world stops seeing us as ’other,’” she wrote, adding, “I wanted to be the hero that I never had growing up for somebody else.”

    Jacobs said Quinlivan “continues to inspire me with her energy, enthusiasm and commitment… I am so proud to know Teddy.”

  3. Laith Ashley

    Kevin Tachman/Getty Images

    Laith’s got more than 170,000 followers on Instagram, and made waves in 2014 when he appeared in Barneys’s “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters” campaign. He also starred on Strut, Oxygen’s reality series about a group of trans model working to make it big.

    When he isn’t posing, he’s serving the LGBT community at New York’s Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.

  4. Lea T

    ❤ @emiliotini ❤

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    A Brazilian beauty discovered by Ricardo Tisci, Lea T has kissed Kate Moss on the cover of Love magazine, appeared on Oprah, and starred in coveted campaigns for Redken and Givenchy, to name just a few. She also did a stint on Italy’s version of Dancing With The Stars.

  5. Juliana Huxtable

    @michaelbaileygates @id_magazine

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    Juliana Huxtable isn’t just a model—for DKNY, Eckhaus Latta, and BCALLA, among others—she’s a poet, DJ and an artist. And she’s little bit magic. Huxtable’s art, as well as a sculpture of her likeness by Frank Benson, was exhibited at the New Museum in New York.

  6. Aydian Dowling

    Aydian Dowling is a fitness model, businessman, advocate and the Internet’s (un)official #ManCrushEVERYDAY. Through his campaign to win Men’s Health Ultimate Guy contest, Aydian become a powerful, positive force for the trans community.

  7. Valentijn De Hingh

    Out today! My interview + shoot for Parool PS Pride Special! Pictures by @linda_stulic #parool #ps #gaypride #girlslikeus

    A post shared by Valentijn De Hingh (@valentijndehingh) on

    Discovered as a child by a Dutch filmmaker, Valentijn De Hingh’s transition from ages 8 to 17 was filmed for a television documentary. Her striking features and statuesque frame have made her a favorite of top labels like Commes des Garçon. But don’t think of her as just a pretty face: Valentijn’s also a writer who’s delivered a smart, funny TED Talk on being trans titled, “Why Did I Choose?”

  8. Andreja Pejic

    Reality is negotiable @interviewmag #InterviewGang @chriscolls #Selfie #Newtonesque @Chanelofficial

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    This Bosnian-refugee-turned-Australian-supermodel began her career modeling both men’s and women’s wear. “I’m a bargain, two for one,” she once joked. In 2014, when Andreja publicly transitioned, her career on the runway didn’t miss a step: She landed campaigns with Makeup Forever and Gaultier, as well as a profile in Vogue. In October 2017 she became the first trans model to sign with the legendary Ford Agency.

  9. Isis King

    Todd Williamson/Getty Images

    King first came to our attention on America’s Next Top Model (and on a subsequent All-Stars season)— since then she’s appeared in US Weekly and Seventeen, appeared in a notable campaign for American Apparel, and starred on Whoopi Goldberg’s Oxygen series, Strut.

    Like many on this list, she’s making her mark beyond the runway: Isis is a trained fashion designer, and had a multiple-episode arc on The Bold and the Beautiful.

  10. Arisce Wanzer

    As outspoken as she is beautiful, Arisce has modeled for Topshop and Opening Ceremony, and even contributes to Buzzfeed. Just don’t come for her: She’ll lay the smackdown. Ask Kendall Jenner.

  11. Geena Rocero

    @mamaishaute

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    Rocero was a lingerie and swimsuit model for 12 years before coming out as trans in a 2014 TED Talk on International Transgender Day of Visibility.

    Since then, he’s launched the advocacy group Gender Proud and produced Made to Model: Trans Beauty in Fashion, a digital documentary uniting pioneering trans models with the fresh faces of today.

  12. Carmen Carrera

    Thank you @MarianoVivanco #stillmyfavorite #CandyMagazine

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    The Season Three Drag Race star is now an in-demand model posing for Steven Meisel and David LaChapelle. She’s also an actress (Did you see her with Meryl Streep in Ricki and the Flash?) and an activist for trans rights and HIV awareness.

  13. Dezjorn Gauthier

    Another Barneys’ alum, Dezjorn is to the Trans Models New York Agency but when he’s not working it for for the camera, he’s the CEO of I Am Here, I Am He, aimed at educating, empowering and inspiring trans men around the world. Oh, and he’s also attending law school. #HusbandMaterial.

 

 

Stay-at-home mom to two beautiful cats.