Last year saw the transgender community take the fashion industry by storm, as a trio of talented game changers with a heart for social equality burst forth onto the scene.
Started in March of 2015 by transgender model Peche Di, this forward-thinking agency has already signed 19 models - 10 men and 9 women. It is the first of its kind in New York City: an agency solely dedicated to representing transgender talent.
Di was inspired to form her own agency by a friend who was helping her with an English-language interview. According to the Daily Mail, she was ruing the lack of work for transgender models such as herself when Roi Ben-Yehuda, now a team member, advised her to start her own business tailored towards representing this group.
At the ripe young age of 26 she did just that. Di's models, designers, and makeup artists combine brains with beauty. Her agency's members not only have resumes that include top fashion magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair, but have also worked in television production and written for such noteworthy publications as the New York Times, BET, and Ebony.
Di plans to showcase her agency's top talent at an all-trans fashion show during New York Fashion week this February.
Empowerment and style website dapperQ's Editor-in-Chief Anita Dolce Vita famously said "Queer style is a social movement" in a recent HuffPost article. Judging by the turnout at this 2015 New York Fashion Week event, she was right on the money.
VERGE was the largest gathering of queer and trans identity designers during the week, with eight costumiers showcasing their work. Hundreds turned out for the show at the Brooklyn Museum to see the artistry of NotEqual, MARKANTOINE, LACTIC, SAGA, SunSun, KQK by Karen Quirion , Fony, and Jag & Co. The designs stressed inclusion and the breaking up of the fashion industry's unrealistic standards of beauty.
Thanks to transgender fashion designer Gogo Graham, New York Fashion Week 2015 didn't just showcase transgender designers; it also hosted an event that featured all trans femme models. InFABRICATIONS: Meet Trans Fashion Designer Gogo Graham, the designer says that the show at the Manhattan Ace Hotel had both a purpose and a passion. She aimed to tell the stories of the women walking the catwalk, as well as to give them a stage that merged their talent with her designs to create an extraordinarily energetic event.
Graham's concern for the recent surge in slayings of trans women of color motivated her to use her talent to highlight her model's multidimensional layers. Her empowering designs were made to celebrate femininity and fit each woman's unique personality.
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