Gigi Gorgeous On Why We Need More Trans Representation In Fashion

Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows

Eff a trend

It's a dreary gray day in New York City when I go to meet Gigi Gorgeous for brunch. As New Yorkers are prone to do, we're dressed in our finest... dreary gray ensembles. Gigi Gorgeous, however, is fresh from a New York-bound Los Angeles flight and won't let a little rain dim her shine. She walks up to the Lower East Side spot in a bright magenta suit jacket and high-waisted pants, blonde waves framing a glowing beat. Good morning, indeed.

Gigi is in town for New York Fashion Week. For the next couple of days, she'll be popping up front row at The Blonds, Libertine, VFILES, and more. Today's power suit is just a preview of the rainbow wardrobe she's brought along with her. "I used to never take style risks," she says easing into the corner seat. "When I first started transitioning, it was all about affirming my femininity," she adds. "I would never wear anything that was too masculine or bordering masculine at all." That meant outfits that weren't statements per se but a means of asserting her gender identity, like "the highest heels from Forever 21 and little dresses from Guess and Target." Coming out as transgender in December 2013 marked the beginning of a new period of growth, one that Gigi says was filled with considerably more cis fashion icons than trans fashion icons.

Today, however, that's changing. Between last year's Spring 2018 shows and last month's Fall 2018 New York shows, two more transgender and non-conforming models walked the runways, bringing the number up to 33. This increase comes after a massive jump, from the 12 trans and non-conforming models that walked in the Fall 2017 shows to Spring 2018's 31. That representation and visibility are pivotal. "What we're seeing isn't a trend," Gigi says. "It's still the beginning of a great movement toward inclusivity. More people from all backgrounds and identities are sharing their stories and freeing up space for others to open up and finally see themselves on the runways and in magazines."

That's why Gigi believes it's still necessary to qualify an out trans or non-conforming model as their gender identity. "I don't think we're at a point yet where it shouldn't be a label," she says, adding she thinks it we won't be there for a while. "Visibility is key; you need to see trans people in positions of influence, and you need to know they're trans. You've got to show people possibility." For Gigi, it's not so much about changing perspective but highlighting the diverse and inclusive stories happening around us every day. "There’s still a fight to be fought, and I’ll say it and say it again: representation matters," she says. "I get asked all the time if I mind being introduced as a transgender woman. I prefer it. I want people to know."  

And with that, she's off to some front row somewhere to show people what's possible.

Photo by Jennifer Clasen/HBO

This explains so much

When the second season of Big Little Lies premiered, we all ran into the wall that was Shailene Woodley's character Jane's blunt bangs. Seriously, the look was so controversial that tons of people on Twitter started pointing it out, and wondering who made that character decision. Well, Woodley herself has straightened it out for us.

Keep reading... Show less
Photos by Dia Dipasupil, Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Alongside Nicole Kidman, Awkwafina, and more

The Prom is coming to Netflix. The Tony Award-nominated Broadway show is being transformed into a star-studded movie musical by American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, who already tapped the likes of Meryl Streep and Ariana Grande to star.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

While she wished Tana Mongeau a happy birthday on one account, her other one paints a different picture

If you're in YouTube and influencer culture as deep as the rest of the internet, you already know that Tana Mongeau and Jake Paul got engaged yesterday. How does Mongeau's ex, actress Bella Thorne, feel about the situation? According to her official Instagram account, she's totally supportive of her. But, as is usually the case, her (what I call) Finsta tells the more realistic story.

Keep reading... Show less
Asset 7
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris / Neilson Barnard / Getty Images.

"And then she cried the white girl cry"

I'm not sure I'd even call the ongoing spat between Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus a beef. We've seen Minaj in real beef, like her ongoing feud with Cardi B that culminated in some major Fashion Week drama. But even though things aren't that level between Minaj and Cyrus, things are still definitely not okay.

Keep reading... Show less


Amanda Bynes has just graduated with the Class of 2019 from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Late Monday evening, Bynes shared a photo to Twitter celebrating the achievement, posing alongside a classmate in her cap and gown.

TMZ shared additional selfies with fellow classmates from the graduation ceremony. Sources told TMZ that Bynes seemed "ecstatic," and that she was "getting tons of love from her teachers and peers."

The actress has been enrolled at the school since 2014, though, as Page Six notes, was kicked out for a short period of time toward the beginning of her studies, but returned and completed her program within five years.

In March of this year, Bynes checked into a mental health facility after an alleged relapse, following four years of sobriety. Prior to that, she had returned to the public in late 2018 with an interview with Paper in which she opened up about her experience with depression after the release of She's The Man, as well as her drug use.