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A Record Number of Trans and Nonbinary Models Debut at Prada

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A Record Number of Trans and Nonbinary Models Debut at Prada

This season’s casting also including several models walking fashion week runways for the first time.

Prada sets trends the way Serena Williams sets records—with effort, of course, but also a divine strength last seen at Delphi. And it’s not just the clothes—the newness also extends to Prada’s models, who become avatars of The New Cool with help from hair maestro Guido Palau and makeup royal Pat McGrath, and who often launch their careers in the process. Past models who made their debut on the Prada runway include supes like Karolina Kurkova, Sasha Pivovarova, and Gemma Ward, along with current style idols like Lineisy Monteiro and Anok Yai. (Even Behati Prinsloo started her career with a Prada push in 2006.)

The brand took their newbie obsession even further when Simons joined the brand as co-creative directors in 2020, and he and Mrs. Prada cast their entire debut Spring 2021 show with runway first-timers. (The pendulum swung back in 2022, with OG legends like Liya Kebede and Erin O’Conn0r swishing past social media goddesses Kaia Gerber and Kendall Jenner, not to mention a stealth Jeff Goldblum appearance at the men’s show this past January.) Which brings us to now—Fall 2022 IRL, Sprung 2023 in Fashionland—and gives us a Prada catwalk locked and loaded for the revolution. Here’s a primer on Prada’s most recent runway debuts, including multiple trans women and nonbinary models. Learn their names and power stares now, and get ready to see lots (and lots and lots) more of them in your Insta feed this season.

Katy Grammatikopoulou

If you are Extremely Online™, you may recognize the doll-faced trans influencer Katy Grammatikopoulou, aka Katy Gramma, from her YouTube videos, including the viral Pantene series, “Hair has no gender.” Here she is looking breathtaking on her very first catwalk, and a bit like Sharon Tate in Valley of the Dolls.

Aitiola Akilola

This Nigerian teen was scouted in Lagos last year. She made her runway debut less than a year later at one of the biggest fashion brands in the world. No big.

Ji ShuYan

Can the bubble hem return to the height of its 2006 supremacy? It just might thanks to Ji ShuYan, the brand new model from Shanghai who made her first-ever runway appearance in Milan wearing this perfect cloud of a minidress. Exciting!

Taira

This plant-based eating fan makes their second Prada appearance after walking in Simons’s and Mrs. Prada’s show two years ago and fronting that collection’s campaign. They’re also a fashion columnist who writes frequently about the intersection between gender and beauty. Hailing from Hokkaido, they’re frequently featured by our sister publication in Tokyo.

Samu Happonen

It turns out this writer and artist has been practicing to wear these Prada lashes for a while. The Finnish creative is also the soul inside Love, Rebecca, the self-described “young trans drag queen” from Scandinavia whose signature look is a black, feathered eye.

Bella Berghoef

An Amsterdam gallery hopper who frequently shares art essays on her Instagram, this Prada exclusive is also a trans pride activist. (And she got to wear some very cute Mary Janes. Well done, Bella!)

Hunter Pifer

Midwest represent! After signing to a modeling agency in Chicago, Pifer went viral on TikTok for speaking out about trans rights in today’s very divided America. Now she’s an official Prada face—but still pretty normal online, which we love.

Laisha Figuereo

We love an educated fashion pro! Besides being a Prada runway debut, this Dominican model is a recent graduate of Instituto Politécnico Loyola, an engineering school in San Cristobal that also has English and French language programs. (Which should help next week in Paris.)

C. Boy Ewald

If you love Swedish teen dramas, you likely already know about this rising Scandinavian TV star. If not, meet C. Boy Ewald, the young blonde ingenue currently appearing in Håber du kom godt hjem, which is Swedish for “Hope you got home safe” (Think 13 Reasons Why, with more salted licorice.)

Alin Szewczyk

A graduate of the University of Warsaw, Alin is a nonbinary actor, artist, and welder! (Sorry Zoolander, but your Blue Steel is no match for a supercool Polish model who can bend actual steel.) They were the closing model of Prada’s Spring 2023 show, making them officially one to watch… and officially a badass, clearly.

Colin Jones

Is this the second coming of Lara Stone? This blonde American babe was a showstopper at Prada—her first Milan show ever—which is a pretty big deal, considering she only graduated high school 4 months ago. (Congrats, Colin!) She’s also a vocal trans rights advocate, and frequently posts about her own journey to help other kids and their families.

Celeste Fitzpatrick

It’s not Mia Farrow! It’s Celeste Fitzpatrick, a 20-year-old from Belfast who honestly seems like a very nice, totally chill girl. (Don’t let the spider lashes fool you?)

Melissa Hanselaar

She’s studying fashion in Amsterdam, but this college student is also a track star with the Jacchalzen Run Pack, a Netherlands club team. Wonder if she’s counting this Prada runway (her first) as part of her daily step count?

Noor Van Britsom

What do Gigi Hadid and this Belgian newbie have in common? Two things, actually. They both had major Prada runway moments (Gigi in 2019, Noor this week) and they both played elite volleyball before becoming fashion folk—Gigi in California, and Noor with a club team in Grimbergen.

Lieke Woltjer

We couldn’t get past this image of a tiny kitten on Lieke’s Instagram, because it’s that good, but we’re also very impressed that this Dutch teen can walk her first Prada runway while handling Pat McGrath’s incredible lash sculptures, and make it look easy.

Sophia Lisboa

She’s lived in Argentina and Brazil, but this model waited until she was 11,811 kilometers from home to step onto a catwalk. (It was Prada, so that seems like a very wise choice.)


Source: HarpersBazaar.com