Photographer Malina Corpadean
Fashion Editor Annie Horth
Makeup and Hair Nicolas Blanchet

By Rebecca Kahn

In previous interviews, you’ve mentioned embracing your “freak show” nature and being weird despite judgment. What was that like growing up in Calgary?  Well, by the time I was really exploring and expressing myself the only way I knew how (through fashion), I had a handful of amazing friends. They really helped me through everything and encouraged me to push myself further in my self-discovery. Because of them, it didn’t matter what people thought about me, and I stopped caring. It was really normal for people to stare and point at me all the time, but I had my own little family I had created who loved me the way I was.

Do you have any advice for young people who feel similarly out of place and marginalizedI guess I’d say be true to who you are and do what feels right to you. It can be scary, but that’s how we truly discover who we are. It’s like I said to my mom once, “I know I’m different and that can make certain things harder for me or even dangerous, but I’m not going to live my life in fear. As far as I’m concerned that’s not living at all.” Don’t forget there are always people out there who understand you, and as you get older, things will get easier.

You’re an openly transgender model – how has that affected your career?  Transgender is a really big topic at the moment. I’m lucky to be getting into the industry now because it helps me stand out from the crowd. I have a story to tell, and I want to help make a difference. People are really responding to it and I couldn’t be more thankful for all the love.

You’ve mentioned in past interviews that you see the fashion industry becoming more accepting of transgender models, but there’s always room for improvement. What are some things that we, as an industry, can do to be even more inclusive of transgender models and talents?  Well, the fashion industry is known to push limits, and that’s exactly what is happening with gender in the industry. Trans people are becoming more and more accepted in every aspect of life, and I honestly think that if we stay on this path, it won’t be a “taboo” topic anymore. Ines Rau in Playboy last year is a really good example of how far we have come as a community, and I believe that allowing trans people to do things like that is really powerful. At the end of the day, this industry is a business and trans models won’t always get certain jobs, but it [only] takes that one person to say screw it, let’s put this person on our cover or whatever it is, to really make a difference. 

The style of this shoot was really fun, funky, and full of mixed patterns. How does that compare to your everyday style? Where do you get style inspiration from? How has your style changed over time?  I really love statement pieces and this shoot was definitely full of them. Mixing patterns is so much fun, but I’m usually all about being monochromatic. I love when everything is matching, with those one or two pieces that really grab your attention. I’m a huge believer in statement jackets, bags, and shoes… Through all of my phases, the rock ’n roll and punk aesthetic have always kind of stuck with me through the years – that’s where I get a lot of my style inspiration from… Some things have stayed the same, like I still love wearing heels, but I’ve grown up, and with time, my style has matured. I don’t walk around in extremely provocative clothing as I once did. Don’t get me wrong, I still like to make a statement with the way I dress, but I’ve traded my exotic dancer shoes I used to wear in high school for a classic sky-high stiletto.

Before professionally modelling, what were you doing? Did you have a backup plan in case modelling fell-throughI was working in a shoe store in downtown Calgary. I was at a place in life where I had kind of just went with the flow and started to realize that I wasn’t going in the direction I wanted. To be honest, I was scared I would end up in retail for a very long time. I was a high school dropout working a crappy job making barely enough money to pay my bills. I didn’t have the means to get myself into school and get the education I needed to go in the direction I wanted for myself. I’m extremely grateful that my dedication and hard work that I put into modelling paid off.

Besides modelling, what are you passionate about? What do you do for fun?  I really love anything creative; I’m an artist at heart. I grew up drawing, painting, and making clothes. That’s always kinda stuck with me. On my days off, I still cut up and alter my clothes, it’s one of my favourite things to do. I love spending time with friends and chatting with my family. I’m also really into curating my Instagram and editing photos.

You seem to care a lot about your own personal style and the fashion industry in general; do you have any other goals in fashion besides modellingYou seem to care a lot about your own personal style and the fashion industry in general; do you have any other goals in fashion besides modelling?

Photographer Malina Corpadean at JUDY INC.
Fashion Editor Annie Horth at JUDY INC.
Makeup and hair Nicolas Blanchet at THE PROJECT using MAC COSMETICS and ORIBE.
Model HARLOW MONROE at FOLIO MONTREAL.

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