‘Humbled and Proud’ Teddy Quinlivan On Being Chanel’s First Openly Trans Model

The model said she thought she'd never work with big brands like Chanel again after coming out.

Teddy Quinlivan, Chanel’s first openly transgender model has spoken out about what that means to her.

The 25-year-old is the face of Chanel Beauty and described it as a triumphant moment.

“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.”

The American model went on to explain how all the hardship she has faced over the years led her to this special moment.

“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 fag*t, 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.”

Sadly, Teddy admitted that she thought she’d no longer work for big brands once she came out as trans.

“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.”

She added: “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!”

Teddy came out as trans in 2017 and has since worked with other big brands like Louis Vuitton, MILK Make-Up, Mochino and Fendi among others.


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