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Brief Published: 14 Nov 2014

Transgender Beauty Hits The Mainstream

Transgender model Lea T for Redken

Gender norms and boundaries are being broken as Lea T, Brazilian model and muse of Givenchy’s creative director Riccardo Tisci, becomes the first transgender woman to front a global beauty brand.

From January 2015, the transgender model and advocate will be the face of Redken’s global Chromatics hair colour campaign, showcasing the American brand’s belief in the beauty of individuality.

In recent times, the fashion industry has made progress on embracing diversity. New York-based luxury retailer Barneys cast 17 transgender models in a campaign to raise awareness for transsexuals in society and fashion in February 2014 – read about it in Barneys’ Transgender Campaign Stars. But the beauty industry has been slower on the uptake, until now. The appointment, which aligns the premium haircare brand with LGBTQ advocacy, is a big move towards shifting perceptions of beauty norms.

“Lea T is a true pioneer for beauty,” says Leslie Marino, general manager of Redken US. "She shares Redken’s vision of global beauty, and has a unique sense of self and a beauty that is undeniably her own.”

For more on how transgender ideals are filtering into the mainstream, see Fashion & Beauty: Liberating Gender, which looks at how these industries are beginning to cater to newly empowered, gender-liberal consumers.