Transgender model Teddy Quinlivan is making fashion history. She is the first openly transgender model to be hired for a Chanel campaign, Quinlivan announced on Instagram Monday.
In an emotional post featuring a video and photo from her Chanel Beauty campaign, Quinlivan shared the tough moments she’s experienced trying to find her place in the modeling industry.
“My whole life has been a fight,” she wrote on Instagram. “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 s*** worth it.”
The 25-year-old walked runway shows for Chanel before coming out as transgender in 2017. She said on Instagram that she assumed she would no longer be able to work with the design house after coming out.
“But here I am in Chanel Beauty Advertising,” she wrote. “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.”
Since coming out, Quinlivan has worked with brands including Milk Makeup, Porter Magazine, Louis Vuitton, Maison Margiela Fragrances and Redken. She’s also been an outspoken advocate for transgender models and the #MeToo movement.
“The world will kick you down, spit on you, and tell you you’re worthless,” she wrote. “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.”