“Made To Model” Shines A Spotlight On Transgender Women On The Runway

"Bringing the pioneers and the new fresh models together is truly magical."

Just in time for New York Fashion Week, Logo, VH1, and MTV are teaming up to present the long-form digital video Made To Model: Trans Beauty In Fashion, which brings together pioneering transgender models and their successors, the LGBT models of today, for a one-of-a-kind photo shoot with Paper magazine creative director Drew Elliott.

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Lauren Foster, Crimsona Kaiser, and Tracey “Africa” Norman laid the groundwork for acceptance, garnering international acclaim at a time where transgender rights weren’t a part of the mainstream conversation. Foster has appeared in high-profile fashion magazines such as Vogue Mexico and on Seasons 2 and 3 of Real Housewives of Miami. Kaiser has walked the catwalk for Valentino and Chanel, and was one of the faces for M.A.C. cosmetics.

Norman appeared in Italian Vogue and was the first African-American transgender woman to model for Clairol in the 1970s. Her career was cut short when she was outed as trans in the early 1980s, but Clairol welcomed her back last year for its “Color As Real As You Are” campaign.

In the shoot with photographer Katie Levine, Foster, Kaiser, and Norman are joined by Geena Rocero, Leyna Ramous, Carmen Carrera, Maya Monès, Torraine Futurum, and Rain Dove, contemporary models who are challenging the boundaries of the gender binary on the runway, in magazine spreads and in their daily lives.

Signed to Next Models at age 21, Rocero has done a bevy of fashion and swimsuit spreads—and appeared in a groundbreaking edition of Harper’s Bazaar with Tracey Africa. She also founded Gender Proud, a production company that shares stories about the trans community. She’s a co-executive producer on Made to Model, and brought these models together.

Drag Race alum Carrera has appeared in the pages of W, S Moda and Glamour UK, while gender-nonconforming activist Dove has been photographed in Vogue, Elle, and Cosmopolitan and Futurum has appeared in campaigns for Adidas and Shiseido.

Newcomer Monès, a trans-feminine Afro-Latina artist and DJ, is striving to increase representation for queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming youth of color. 

“Bringing the pioneers and the new fresh models together to see where we’ve come from and where we are going is truly magical,” says Ramous, who has walked in New York Fashion Week and danced with the American Ballet Theatre alongside Misty Copeland. “I’m so proud to be a part of it.”

Below, watch Made To Model: Trans Beauty In Fashion.

For more about the world of fashion, tune into Kevyn Aucoin: Beauty & The Beast In Me, September 14 at 9/8c on Logo.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@slmjournalist