This past weekend, designer Marco Marco went down in New York Fashion Week history when his runway show featured transgender-identifying models only. According to Cosmopolitan, this is the first time that a major show on the fashion week circuit featured not a single cisgender model.
The L.A.-based underwear designer said that the show, which took place on Sept. 8th, was meant to act as a space to celebrate trans models and to reinforce that trans is beautiful. Marco Marco, also known as Marco Morante, has included trans and nonbinary people in his shows before, but never as the entire cast. He said that although there was a presence of trans and nonbinary people on the runway, that presence was always overshadowed by cis gay men. So, on Saturday, 34 transgender models walked down the runway in dresses, lingerie, and briefs.
Among the models was YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous, who sported a metallic mini skirt, a sheer black and detailed top, and embellished heels. There was also actress Trace Lysette, known for her appearance on the Amazon series Transparent. Lysette wore a black and purple bodysuit paired with a matching jacket. Other actresses walked in the show, such as Dominique Jackson and Angelica Ross from the FX show Pose, as well as models Carmen Carrera, Geena Rocero, Hanson Gobron, and and Aydian Dowling. Model, singer, and activist Laith Ashley was also present on stage in blue patterned bottoms and black socks.
In an interview with Mic, Lysette said that it was nice to be on a runway where her size did not matter. She said she is confident that the fashion industry is recognizing now that there are several body types that all need to be celebrated. Lysette also posted a video of her walk down the runway on Twitter and thanked Marco Marco for the opportunity. “I’ve never been model industry standard, and I don’t want to be. I love my thickness,” she captioned the post.
Many of the show’s attendees posted on social media using the hashtag #TransIsBeautiful, which Laverne Cox first used in 2015 and ultimately began a social media movement. At the 2015 Fashion Media Awards, Cox explained that she started using the hashtag at the end of her posts to encourage other transgendered men and women to show off their beauty and self-confidence.
Cox attended the Marco Marco show as well. She posted on Instagram that the show felt like “yet another fulfillment of the empowerment of trans beauty this hashtag is meant to celebrate and engender.”