We can all agree that the fashion industry still has a long way to go in terms of inclusivity, but that said, the progress it has made in recent years is not to be ignored, especially when it comes to transgender representation. In 2019, Victoria’s Secret made waves for casting its first transgender model, Valentina Sampaio. And according to The Fashion Spot’s runway diversity report, the Spring 2020 runway was the second most gender-inclusive in New York Fashion Week history. 24 out of 2,327 models were transgender, as compared to three transgender models during the Spring 2016 season.
Below are 13 transgender models who are not only making an impact in the fashion industry with their successful modelling careers—they actively use their platforms to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community too.
Agencies: Elite Model Management in New York; Oui Management in Paris; Why Not Model Management in Milan; and Premier Model Mangement in London.
You may have recognised Hunter Schafer from HBO’s Euphoria, but before she became an actress, she actually started out as a model and has walked for some of the biggest fashion houses including Dior, Miu Miu, and Marc Jacobs. She’s currently signed to top modelling agencies in all four fashion capitals.
Agency: IMG Models in New York
American actor and model Indya Moore is a transgender non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. Although they started out working as a model—having shot for Gucci and Dior, and walked for Telfar—she’s now focusing on her acting career, starring as Angel in Pose, a TV series about New York City ball culture in the ‘80s, with two more movies in the works.
Agency: IMG Worldwide (New York, Paris, Milan, London, and Los Angeles)
Hari Nef made her runway debut during New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 and was subsequently the first trans woman to be signed to IMG Models a few months later. Six years on, she has extended her portfolio to acting with a recurring role in Season One of You, and a few appearances in series including Acting for a Cause and Room 104. A scroll through her Instagram and you’ll notice she also uses her influence to educate transgender rights.
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