Transgender Model Lea T is the New Face of Redken

Photo: David X Prutting/

Transgender model Lea T’s career is on the rise… she’s been a muse at Givenchy and now has a lucrative beauty campaign under her belt. Lea T stars in Redken’s new Chromatics hair color campaign.

Chromatics is all about individuality.

“We’re all people with our own personality, our own beauty, our own life,” Lea T said. “I love working with Redken because they appreciate all kinds of beauty. They believe in the individuality of the person, and I think that’s really important.”

It’s not surprising when the fashion industry makes accepting, progressive choices, and we hope that through the exposure Lea receives from this campaign, we’ll be that much closer to acceptance on a larger scale.

Givenchy Casts Albino Model Stephen Thompson

Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci has done it again, following up his groundbreaking fall campaign, featuring transsexual model Lea T., by casting albino model Stephen Thompson for the spring. Tisci told WWD he’s always admired albino people, saying, “They’re very near my world.” Tisci also revealed that the idea for his latest collections—and the campaign—dovetailed from a Robert Mapplethorpe photo of an alabaster Roman bust atop a stretch of leopard-print fabric.

The new Givenchy campaign, shot by Mert and Marcus, will debut in magazines in January.

image Lea T. in Givenchy’s fall campaign.

Givenchy’s Latest (Transgender) Model Crush

She’s by no means the first, but transgender model Lea T. is causing quite a splash in the fashion community. Why exactly? Merely for gracing creative director Ricardo Tisci’s latest ad campaign for Givenchy. “The designer is using a transexual among the cast for the house’s fall-winter ad campaign, and it’s someone he knows well: his longtime personal assistant and, interestingly enough, former fit model for his own line,” says Women’s Wear Daily. The newbie mannequin holds her own alongside the likes of seasoned models Mariacarla Boscono, Malgosia Bella and Joan Smalls in the spread, which is no small feat. But the real takeaway is the spotlight the campaign inevitably puts on transgender models.

Gender-bending boundaries were likewise pushed at Elise Overland’s SS10 show, where the designer outfitted a decidedly androgynous male model in a slick black leather dress and high heels (the majority of the fashion folk in the audience were none the wiser). And, even earlier, back in 2008, America’s Next Top Model cast aspiring mannequin Isis Tsunami, its first ever transgender contestant. But while ongoing dialogues for more diversity with regard to models’ body type and ethnicity have remained front and center in the fashion industry over the past few seasons, there’s been very little discussion of the role of transgender individuals within the industry.

That said, it’s significantly more talked about today than its ever been. Take Candy for instance, the recently launched independent magazine. The rag is the self-proclaimed “first fashion magazine dedicated to transvestism, transexuality, cross dressing and androgyny.” And according to its Facebook page, expect its second issue to drop very “soon.”