transgender model
Photograph by Imaxtree

Chanel Casts Transgender Model Teddy Quinlivan in New Beauty Campaign 

A win for diversity 

Chanel Beauty announced overnight that it’s cast a new face, and the news has been celebrated across the world. The luxury French brand announced it has shot its newest beauty campaign with transgender model Teddy Quinlivan. It marks the first time the brand’s beauty division has worked with an openly transgender model. 

Taking to Instagram to announce the news, Quinlivan wrote, “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 f–got, to receiving industry blowback after speaking publicly about being sexually assaulted on the job.…This was a victory that made all of that s–t worth it.” Continuing to share her excitement on Instagram Stories, she wrote, “This is such an exciting time to be alive if you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, especially if you’re [transgender] because trans girls are just out here f–king killing it. There is no glass ceiling that is unbreakable, like this is our moment to seize the world and we just have to keep fighting and keep getting ourselves out there and making a difference and bringing exposure to the trans community to the forefront of the global stage.” She also namechecked fellow transgender models/actresses Laverne Cox, Hunter Schafer and Valentina Sampaio, who was recently shot by Victoria’s Secret (a first for the famously exclusive brand). 

Quinlivan came out as transgender in 2017. She has previously worked with Chanel, walking in its runway shows, however this was before she came out. She explained on Instagram, “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!” 

She has also previously walked for Gucci and Louis Vuitton, and has shot campaigns for vegan beauty brand Milk Makeup and Maison Margiela fragrances. 

Next, check out our interview with the world’s first male transgender supermodel, Krow.