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Transgender Model Teddy Quinlivan Is the New Face of Chanel Beauty

Instyle logo Instyle 8/26/2019 Erin Lukas
a woman posing for the camera © Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images

Teddy Quinlivan is no stranger to fronting beauty campaigns, but her latest gig is not only a big career milestone—it's history-making.

Quinlivan announced that she's the face of a new Chanel Beauty campaign, and is the first openly transgender model to be hired by the fashion house. The model shared the news on Instagram with a video and photo from the campaign, along with a heartfelt message about the importance of Chanel hiring her. 


“I find I don’t cry anymore when things are sad, but isn’t it interesting when we shed tears in moments of triumph?” she wrote in the caption (click on the post to read it in full on Instagram). “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.”

Quinlivan walked the runways for brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci, to name a few, before coming out as transgender in 2017. Since then, she's continued to walk the Fashion Week runways, and appear on magazine covers like Porter Magazine, and L'Officiel. She's also appeared in beauty campaigns for brands such as Milk Makeup, Redken, and Maison Margiela Fragrances. 

Quinlivan commented on how important Chanel hiring her is for trans visibility in the fashion and beauty industries. "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," she 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."

VIDEO: Victoria's Secret Hires Its First Transgender Model

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Quilivan is the latest transgender model succeeding in the beauty space, and helping to make it more inclusive. Andreja Pejic modeled for MAKE UP FOR EVER and Victoria's Secret model Valentina Sampaio has also worked with L'Oreal Paris. Adding Chanel to the list of brands prioritizing diversity and representation is a triumph to celebrate, indeed.

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