The fashion industry faces numerous criticisms of diversity and beauty standards. Now, however, international fashion model Teddy Quinlivan is making strides of her own.
Quinlivan, 23, has come out as transgender with a bold statement affirming her dedication to trans rights.
‘I want to help break the stigma of what it means to be transgender,’ she said in her statement. ‘We need more and more trans voices to speak out and share our humanity so that the world stops seeing us as “other”.
‘We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect both under the law and in our daily lives. I will promote love, understanding, and acceptance of trans people.’
Quinlivan first entered the fashion world in 2015. She proceeded to work exclusively with Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2016 collection. Since then, she’s walked over 150 fashion shows.
Her decision to come out stems from a real world sense of urgency for justice.
‘Transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, are still being murdered at an astronomical rate, simply for being ourselves. Our community also faces severe discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations,’ she said.
‘Additionally, our rights are under constant threat from the highest levels of our government and through cruel proposed legislation across the country that is designed to put us in harm’s way. Enough is enough. We deserve justice and I will use my voice to help our diverse, vibrant and resilient trans communities overcome these obstacles and thrive.’
An outpouring of support
Since sharing her authentic self with the world, there has been tremendous support for Quinlivan.
The first designer she worked with, Ghesquière, stated: ‘When the time came for her to start her career, I was amazed and proud to see how she embraced the fashion marathon with such a fantastic success. Today it is important for her and I would like to express my full support and love.’
Marc Jacobs first met Quinlivan in 2016. They have since worked together numerous times.
‘As a model she has and continues to inspire me with her energy, enthusiasm and commitment. I respect, admire and support Teddy’s decision to come out as transgender,’ he said. ‘Now more than ever it is vital that we pledge our allegiance to the LGBT community and use our voices to encourage and inspire acceptance, equality, understanding, and love. I am so proud to know Teddy.’
‘We are extremely proud of Teddy for her courage in making this most personal decision to live openly,’ said Michael Bruno of Women Management, Quinlivan’s representation. ‘She has already established herself as a tenacious and revered model across our industry. We look forward to this revelation allowing Teddy a renewed, positive sense of self, while furthering the cause of transgender equality.’