Fashion is a cultural form that pushes boundaries and creates new norms by expanding the concepts of beauty, most recently in the blurring of gender lines. Transgender model Andrej Pejic is leading the way, attracting much attention from the fashion world and its followers. Pejic’s swanlike beauty has captured the interest of multiple designers, including Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul Gaultier — both used the model in current ad campaigns. Riccardo Tisci’s partnership with long-time muse Lea T is another example of this movement. Tisci features Lea T in ads and women’s runway presentations, catapulting the Brazilian model’s career.
The fashion community has long embraced all lifestyles, making it haven for those with unconventional beauty but plenty of style — think Diana Vreeland, Andre Teon Talley, Iris Apfel, Isabella Blow, Leigh Bowery. Now openly transgender women are stepping in front of the camera and changing preconceived definitions of femininity. Photos showing Kate Moss and Karolina Kurkova embracing these newcomers in glossy magazines and high-end campaigns show that these boundary-breakers are welcome.