Top 10 Transgender Models Who Are Changing The Industry

Transgender people have always faced discrimination at every step in their lives. Some are lucky to have been accepted in the society while some are still treated with contempt.

Is it really fair to them?

Is it really fair to put labels on them?

Nothing would prove that it is.

We usually come across the incidents of people bullying, disrespecting and ignoring them. But there is not much that we do. They keep on fighting for themselves to be treated equally and respectfully. It is our society that has made it difficult for them to live a normal life.

Though there are many cases of discrimination against the transgender population, there are some who are bouncing back and inspiring hundreds and thousands of their community to speak up and stand for themselves. They are playing a huge role in empowering their community.

We can see various examples of transgender models who have stepped up to bring a positive change for a greater good. They are constantly fighting and struggling to make the modelling industry inclusive.

Some of the popular ones are-

Hunter Schafer 

Hunter’s career began at the age of 18 when she signed an Elite Model Management. She has walked runways for Dior, Miu Miu, and Helmut Lang. From there her journey started off and she got a big break in one of the HBO’s hit series ‘Euphoria’. She was casted opposite Zendaya.

Leyna Bloom 

Leyna Bloom began her career in 2014, in same year when she came out as trans. She got featured on the cover of Candy Magazine in 2014. In 2017 she walked in New York Fashion Week for the first time and it was the first time when the show welcomed such diversity and inclusivity. She has become the first trans women of color to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Valentina Sampaio 

She is the first transgender model of Victoria Secret. She is the first open transgender model who made it to the cover of Vogue Paris in 2017 and has also appeared on the covers of Brazilian Vogue and German Vogue. She believes that fashion industry is a strong instrument to promote diversity.

Nathan Westling 

Nathan is the most high-profiled transgender male model in the fashion industry. Nathan started his career in 2015. He was transitioned in 2019 and before that he had worked with big brands like Versace, Prada, Chanel and many others.

Chella Man 

He is the first deaf, transgender model to sign to a major modelling agency. He gained popularity through YouTube when he came out with gender transitioning and deafness on this platform. He joined DC’s ‘Titans’ as a deaf super hero in 2019.

Teddy Quinlivan 

She was discovered by Louis Vuitton’s creative director in 2015. She walked runway for Diane Von Furstenberg and Jeremy Scott. After working for two years in modelling, she finally came out as a transgender. She was 16 when she transitioned and working in the fashion industry gave her confidence to come out and she believed that people wouldn’t treat her differently even after knowing.

Lea T 

Lea is the first transgender woman to become the face of the global beauty campaign, Redken. Her career took off when she modelled for French Vogue and LOVE magazine. She also became the face of Givenchy as an open trans woman.

Kenny Ethan Jones 

He is the first transgender man to star in a campaign about menstruation in 2018. He was featured by Pink Parcel and since then has become a trans activist.

Laith Ashley 

Ashley’s career began when he posted his picture on Instagram in Calvin Klein’s underwear. He modelled for ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ and also appeared in a Diesel campaign.

Andreja Pejic 

She is a Bosnian-Australian model who was famous for her androgynous look. She has graced the cover for Elle. She came out in 2014 and since then she has become the first trans model ever to be profiled by Vogue and the first one to book a major cosmetic campaign too.

Stories of all these people have shown that even if they came out, the fashion industry did not just accept them for who they are but also gave them confidence to build a career for themselves and become an example for those who are not strong enough to come out and are struggling with their sexual identities on a daily basis.

They believed in themselves and did not fear being left out. They made a life for themselves and have been working hard ever since to maintain that. We all should learn from such strong personalities and should support them by embracing them in every profession and field, to bring a positive impact.


Written By - Somya Jain

Edited By - Tushna Choksey

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