Transgender Model Teddy Quinlivan the New Face of Chanel Beauty

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Model Teddy Quinlivan attends as Marc Jacobs celebrates #MarcTheNight on November 17, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs)
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs

Chanel Beauty has announced that transgender model Teddy Quinlivan has been picked as the company’s new face.

“I find I don’t cry anymore when things are sad,” Teddy Quinlivan said in a statement on Instagram, “but isn’t it interesting when we shed tears in moments of triumph?”

“This was one of those triumphant cry moments for me,” Quinlivan continued. “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.”

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💄CHANEL BEAUTY💄 -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 fagot, 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. 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! @nicolaskantor @shazmakeup @sebastienrichard1 @casadevallbelen

A post shared by Theodora Quinlivan (@teddy_quinlivan) on

Quinlivan has worked as a model since 2017 after coming out as transgender and has worked for brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Milk Makeup, Redken, Maison Margiela Fragrances, and Chanel. The new transgender spokesperson has also walked the Fashion Week runways and appeared on the cover of magazines such as Porter Magazine, and L’Officiel.

Teddy Quinlivan attends Le Bal Surrealiste Dior during Haute Couture Spring Summer 2018 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 22, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Dior)

Model Teddy Quinlivan from Boston, Massachusetts, poses at Rodin Museum after Christian Dior’s Fall-Winter 2017-2018 ready-to-wear fashion collection presented Friday, March 3, 2017 in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

The model recently spoke about working “undercover” for Chanel.

“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,” Quinlivan wrote. “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.”

Quinlivan is not the first trans model to front for a fashion or beauty giant. Only a few weeks ago, lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret announced that it had hired a transgender model for its runways, as well. And in 2016, women’s magazine Marie Claire became the first major fashion magazine to feature a transgender model on a cover.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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