An Entirely Transgender Model Agency Is Opening In L.A.

Photo: Courtesy of Apple Model Management.
Hana
A modeling agency that solely reps transgender talent will soon be a reality. Apple Model Management, a leading Thai agency, is opening a Los Angeles branch dedicated specifically to transgender stunners, according to The Advocate. In November, the Bangkok-based agency made headlines by launching the first-ever transgender and cisgender division, which debuted with 18 models. There are currently 22 transgender women on their roster.

"Apple Model Management has opened the first of its kind, full transgender model division, with the goal of giving transgender models an international stage to work worldwide and to globally represent Thailand and South East Asia," according to the agency's website.

The pioneering agency's Thai roots make a lot of sense: There's nationwide acknowledgement — though not always acceptance — of kathoey, biological males who've taken on female traits (which can, but doesn't always, include sexual reassignment surgery). There are currently an estimated 10,000 to 100,000 kathoey, out of a total population of 56 million, according to The Daily Beast. Thai culture also identifies a third gender, called phet thi sam. In 2007, Thailand passed its new constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, and a proposal rolled out in January would, if enacted, ban discrimination based on sexual orientation as well. A proposed annex would also protect third-gender people — and all gender identities. India, Pakistan, and Nepal have already moved to recognize third gender.
Photo: Courtesy of Apple Model Management.
Lolita F.
As for Apple Model Management's trans-only expansion to L.A., it will be run by Cecilio Asuncion, who will serve as agency director of the new branch. "Apple Model Management is an important agency to the trans community because we truly believe in their talent and capabilities. We are committed to molding them into the best possible models they can be," Asuncion says. He directed What's the T?, a documentary released in 2013 about the lives of five transgender women. The agency is currently courting new talent for its L.A. office; it's specifically looking for trans men who are 6 feet or taller and trans women who are at least 5'8".

Setting up shop in L.A. "simply felt like the next place to go from Asia because of the work opportunities, since there is a fashion market and commercial work as well," Asuncion says.

This is a major milestone for both the trans community and the modeling industry — and, hopefully, it'll result in more trans models on the runways soon.

More from Fashion

Yet another puzzling school dress code violation has transpired. This time around, a 12-year-old's denim skirt is the source of controversy. Reese Franyo, ...
Love 'em or hate 'em, it's hard to deny that leggings are totally passable as pants when styled properly. Of course, no bottoms — leggings or otherwise — ...
Bags are hard to shop for. Although they have a lot of utility — they're used to tote our items all around town — designers only have so many ways to get ...
Meet Lulu Bonfils: artist, model, Instagram champ, and all around cool girl stomping on pre-determined model rules in sick combat boots
This post was originally published on December 6, 2015. You never want something until you can't have it. So, each week in The Sell-Out, we're getting the...
The Kardashian-Jenners have all been known to catalyze sales, whether or not they're hyping their own brands. But in case you had any doubts about Kylie ...
The fashion industry is evolving, much to our collective relief. And especially right now, you might have noticed that celebrating one's unique looks is...
(Paid Content) Though the temps are still doing that awkward dance between summer and fall, we're already dreaming of sweater weather and itching to scoop ...
On Tuesday evening, there was no escaping the huge neon letters — Y, S, L — suspended from a blue, white, and red crane, as the audience arrived for ...
Though bloggers may have a reputation for sharing almost every aspect of their lives — from #OOTDs to dinner pics (hey, we're guilty of this, too) — rarely...
This story was originally published on August 4, 2014. Even though we've all experienced most temperatures, we have selective memory about what they're ...
It's a feat that the off-the-shoulder trend — one that requires such commitment to strapless bras as well as keeping your arm-raise impulses in check — got...
This story was originally published on September 2, 2016. When we first spot a new item, our gut reaction is to connect it to a past decade's aesthetic: "...
Don't worry — Kate Middleton just can't seem to let go of her favorite boots either. The Duchess wore a pair of Penelope Chilvers long tassel boots in ...