People

Chanel hires first openly transgender model to front campaign

by Huw Hughes
27 Aug 2019

American model Teddy Quinlivan has revealed she will be the first openly transgender model to front a Chanel campaign.

The 25-year-old took to Instagram to announce the news and share a small teaser of the campaign with Chanel Beauty. In a heartfelt post, she said: “I find I don’t cry anymore when things are sad, but isn’t it interesting when we shed tears in moments of triumph. This was one of those triumphant cry moments for me."

View this post on Instagram

CHANEL BEAUTY -I find I don’t cry anymore when things are sad, but isn’t it interesting when we shed tears in moments of triumph. This was one of those triumphant cry moments for me. My whole life has been a fight. From being bullied at school consistently, kids threatening to kill me and going into graphic detail how they were going to do it, my own father beating me and calling me a fagot, to receiving industry blowback after speaking publicly about being sexually assaulted on the job... This was a victory that made all of that shit worth it. I had walked 2 shows for Chanel while I was living in stealth ( stealth meaning I hadn’t made my trans identity public yet) and when I came out I knew I’d stop working with some brands, I thought I’d never work with the iconic house of Chanel ever again. But here I am in Chanel Beauty Advertising. I am the first openly trans person to work for the house of Chanel, and I am deeply humbled and proud to represent my community. The world will kick you down, spit on you, and tell you you’re worthless. It’s your job to have the strength to stand up and push on, to keep fighting, Because if you give up then you will never experience the tears of triumph. Thank you to everyone who made this dream a reality! @nicolaskantor @shazmakeup @sebastienrichard1 @casadevallbelen

A post shared by Theodora Quinlivan (@teddy_quinlivan) on

Teddy Quinlivan is the new face of Chanel Beauty

The Boston-born model also spoke about her difficult past that lead to this moment, revealing she had been beaten by her father and bullied at school. Up until now she has already walked two shows for Chanel before making her trans identity public in 2017, and was worried that when she did she would no longer be able to work for the fashion house.

She wrote: "I had walked two shows for Chanel while I was living in stealth (stealth meaning I hadn’t made my trans identity public yet) and when I came out I knew I’d stop working with some brands, I thought I’d never work with the iconic house of Chanel ever again. But here I am in Chanel Beauty Advertising. I am the first openly trans person to work for the house of Chanel, and I am deeply humbled and proud to represent my community.

“The world will kick you down, spit on you, and tell you you’re worthless. It’s your job to have the strength to stand up and push on, to keep fighting, Because if you give up then you will never experience the tears of triumph. Thank you to everyone who made this dream a reality!”

Quinlivan - who has previously worked with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Maison Margiela Fragrances, and has appeared on Porter Magazine, and L'Officiel - came out publicly as transgender during New York Fashion Week in 2017, before which she publicly presented herself as cisgender.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio had been hired as the first openly transgender model to cover a Victoria’s Secret campaign.

Photo credit: Wikimedia commons