Fashion is so often criticized for its non-inclusive nature, especially when it comes to models. They are so often one type: white and impossibly skinny. Though plus-size and non-white models may be getting more exposure lately, Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci calls attention to another group of society oft overlooked by fashion with his fall campaign, in which he cast his longtime transgender personal assistant Lea T. Lea T. used to be “Leo” and is transitioning careers into veterinary medicine.
She appears alongside nine other models in the ad campaign.WWD reports:
“She’s always been very feminine: superfragile, very aristocratic,” Tisci enthused of the former Mr. T. “She’s part of the family,” he said… Tisci explained that including a transgender person exemplifies the masculine-feminine dichotomy that has become one of his design signatures and follows coed casting for his Paris runway last March.
Progress that the masses weren’t even clamoring for! However, Tisci is not the first person to embrace transgender models. Tyra Banks made a public show of it for a brief period, casting a transgender model for America’s Next Top Model and then gifting gender-reassignment surgery on her talk show. If only that stuff had seemed more organic.