1 Teddy Quinlivan
Making headlines after revealing her trans identity this week is Teddy.
She’s walked 150 shows and worked extensively for the likes of Louis Vuitton.
‘I love all my transgender brothers and sisters and I will do whatever it takes to make a difference’
Taking to social media yesterday, the 23-year-old said: ‘Today I walked for Marc Jacobs, but I also walked for Venus Extravaganza, Mesha Caldwell, Jo Jo Striker, Jaquarrius Holland, and countless other trans women whose lives were cut short due to senseless violence and lack of understanding.
‘I love all my transgender brothers and sisters and I will do whatever it takes to make a difference. Know that you are not alone, know that I’m here fighting for our community; fighting for our liberation.’
2 Andreja Pejic
She was first profiled by Vogue in 2015, has landed covers with GQ and ES magazine and has walked for everyone from H&M to Jean Paul Gaultier. As such, 26-year-old Andreja, from Australia, is probably one of the world’s most famous supermodels.
However, addressing the industry’s limits on Instagram yesterday, she explained why she’s been doing fewer high fashion shows of late. ‘Firstly I’d like to think I’ve worked hard and built up a pretty good resume of work in this industry so I am not inclined to accept every job that comes along,’ she said.
‘If a girl chooses to be open about her “transness,” she will face a reality in the modelling industry’
‘Secondly and more importantly, if I’m being honest about where we stand right now, the truth is that if a girl chooses to be open about her “transness” she will face a reality in the modeling industry where she is too easily stamped with the label of “other” and placed into a separate and rather confined box, which in the context of high fashion is rarely opened.
‘This is part of reality EVEN if you’ve reached a certain level, EVEN if you posses the right skills/traditional standards of “model beauty” but obviously in differing degrees.’
3 Casil McArthur
At only 18, Casil is one of the youngest models in this feature. He’s walked for Coach and recently starred in a campaign for Gap.
In June, he told Dazed: ‘Don’t let people stop you from wearing the things you want to wear, from being the person you want to be and expressing yourself the way you want to express yourself.’
‘We can all take good things from everybody resisting’
The rising star from Estes Park, Colorado, added: ‘We’re the kind of people who can change the world. I hope that we can all take good things from everybody resisting, and change the bad things that go on and make them good, you know. I think that’s a great message.’
4 Munroe Bergdorf
Another talent dominating the news agenda in recent weeks is the British-born Munroe. Last month, L’Oreal Paris announced that the 29-year-old would be part of a campaign championing diversity and inclusion. However, she was fired after commenting on systematic racism following the white supremacist marches in Charlottesville.
She originally wrote on Facebook: ‘Most of ya’ll don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism.’
Debate ensued, with Monroe speaking calmly and clearly about her views on Channel 4 News, Good Morning Britain and more.
‘Be who you are and say what you feel’
This week, it was revealed Munroe has been signed for a rival campaign for French firm Illamasqua. In a statement, the company said: ‘Munroe embodies diversity and individuality; she is not scared to be truly herself But Munroe doesn’t just stop there. She speaks out about the issues that affect not just her but the rest of our generation, seeking to improve the society we live in.’
Taking to social media shortly before the announcement, Munroe said: ‘Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.’
5 Hari Nef
Another internationally-recognized name is Hari. The 24-year-old, born in Philadelphia, was the first trans person to walk for Gucci in January 2016, walking for the men’s show along with seven other women.
Later that year, she became the first trans cover girl of Elle UK, and in January of this year, became the first trans woman to say ‘because I’m worth it‘ in a L’Oreal ad.
‘Identity is a dead end. It’s a snoozefest’
Hari, who has also starred in season two of Transparent, told The Guardian last year: ‘I was not the right girl. I was the lucky one in the right place at the right time. But people have been blazing this path for me for more than 50 years.’
In the same interview, Hari urged for the world to move past the emphasis of gender. She called the situation: ‘a liberal wankfest … on my Wikipedia page, one of the first things is my identity. I hate that.
‘It’s not irrelevant, I know some of my exposure has been due to my identity, but I believe in more than that. I think that often my work is obscured by my gender identity. I don’t want it to be a big deal. This is not what I want to talk about anymore. Identity is a dead end. It’s a snoozefest.’
6 Aydian Dowling
Since causing a stir online in 2015 by recreating Adam Levine’s famous naked photo, New York-native Aydian’s made history by appearing on on the cover of Men’s Health in 2015 and appeared on Ellen’s sofa.
‘Feel pride in masculinity, but not putting down femininity’
Before landing the MH cover by popular vote, Aydian told the Daily Beast: ‘It would be so affirming to just know that the man that I set out to be is somebody that people think is a good man.
‘To break those stereotypes, but still be a man. Feel pride in masculinity, but not putting down femininity. That would be so important to me.’
7 Laverne Cox
She’s best-known for her starring role in seminal Netflix prison drama Orange Is the New Black.
But 45-year-old Laverne Cox – who also had a role in the 2016 drama Grandma – is also a successful model.
‘It feels like some weird fantasy that I’ve had since Destiny’s Child!’
The star, from Mobile, Alabama, was recently revealed as the face of Beyonce’s new athleisure range Ivy Park.
Speaking to PeopleStyle about the signing, she said ‘It’s like I’m dreaming. To be honest, it doesn’t feel real. It feels like some weird fantasy that I’ve had since Destiny’s Child.
‘It feels amazing that I get to be a part of this brand that has already inspired me and be working with a woman who has especially been a huge inspiration to me and so many folks around the world.’
8 Benjamin Melzer
German model Benjamin recently made history by becoming the first trans person, alongside Loiza Lamers (below, at number nine) to pose for PETA’s iconic ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur’ campaign.
He also appeared on the April 2016 cover of Men’s Health Magazine.
Last year, he told The Telegraph: ‘When you are born this way, you have no choice. So many people are hiding who they truly are, so I really wanted to give the trans community visibility. Show that we’re just normal people.’
9 Loiza Lamers
In 2015, Dutch beauty Lamers became the first transgender contestant to win Holland’s Next Top Model.
Speaking to PETA, she said: ‘Wearing the pelt of a tormented animal who was electrocuted, beaten, drowned, or skinned alive is creepy and cruel. There are so many fur-free clothing options available now that it’s easy to have a killer look without killing animals.
‘Fur has no place in anyone’s wardrobe. We encourage all compassionate people to leave it where it belongs: on animals.’