Chanel Beauty Taps Trans Model Teddy Quinlivan

Chanel Beauty Taps Trans Model Teddy Quinlivan

This fresh face is breaking boundaries as the first openly transgender person to represent the house of Chanel

This fresh face is breaking boundaries as the first openly transgender person to represent the house of Chanel

Text: Vienna Vernose

Model and activist Teddy Quinlivan has made groundbreaking strides for fashion as the first-ever openly transgender model to be hired by the house of Chanel. Quinlivan broke the news via Instagram that she would be the face of Chanel beauty in a new campaign. The model posted a glimpse of the campaign and a message conveying the importance of being hired by Chanel.

“I find I don’t cry anymore when things are sad, but isn’t it interesting when we shed tears in moments of triumph?” she wrote in the caption. “This was one of those triumphant cry moments for me. My whole life has been a fight. From being bullied at school consistently, kids threatening to kill me and going into graphic detail how they were going to do it, my own father beating me and calling me a f–got, to receiving industry blowback after speaking publicly about being sexually assaulted on the job.…This was a victory that made all of that s–t worth it.”

The beauty queen has an impressive resumé of prior beauty campaigns including Milk Makeup, Redken, and Maison Margiela Fragrances. Aside from beauty campaigns, she's a runway veteran walking for brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci, to name a few, before coming out as openly transgender in 2017. In her message, Quinlivan expressed her fear after coming out to the fashion industry as a transgender model.

"I had walked 2 shows for Chanel while I was living in stealth (stealth meaning I hadn’t made my trans identity public yet) and when I came out I knew I’d stop working with some brands, I thought I’d never work with the iconic house of Chanel ever again," she wrote. "But here I am in Chanel Beauty Advertising. I am the first openly trans person to work for the house of Chanel, and I am deeply humbled and proud to represent my community."

Recently, the fashion and beauty space has made an effort to become more inclusive in highlighting the transgender community with various trans models leading as the face of top brands. At the beginning of August, it was announced Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio would become the first openly transgender Victoria's Secret model. Additionally, American model Leyna Bloom was the face of an H&M campaign that was displayed in thousands of stores worldwide. Models like Quinlivan double as activists bringing the awareness of the LGBTQ+ community to the global forefront. Today, fashion is more than something that sits on a hanger in a store, it's definitive of who we are how labels are created, but these women are the ones who are breaking all the rules for a new generation.

Credits: Images courtesy Chanel

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