Transsexual model Lea. T‘s supermodel star keeps rising. The Brazilian model has cornered the high fashion market landing editorials in Vogue Paris, walking for Givenchy, covering LOVE magazine (liplocked with Kate Moss as well as a solo cover), and now her success has gone mainstream. Lea T. became a household name following a compelling appearance on Oprah, and now she’s landed a swimwear campaign for one of Brazil’s biggest swimwear lines.
Made in Brazil blog captured none other than Terry Richardson shooting Lea T. and a bevy of male models for Brazilian swim label Blue Man at the beach in Ipanema. Lea T. will also walk in the Blue Man show tomorrow at Fashion Rio, marking her first runway appearance in swim. To our knowledge, it’s the first time a transsexual model has featured in a major swim campaign.
While the fashion industry is often criticized for accepting and promoting an impossible body size, Lea T.’s career path (as well as Andrej Pejic’s) shows the industry is willing to embrace transgendered and transsexual models and models with ambiguous genders, and that’s a good thing. Whether the general public will embrace Lea T’s swim campaign remains to be seen. Remember that Pejic’s topless cover of Dossier was censored by Barnes and Nobles. FHM put Pejic on their sexiest woman list (#98), but then went on to call him a “thing,” made references to being grossed out–”pass the sick bucket”–at Pejic’s once saying that he wanted to be a Victoria’s Secret angel, and referred to the trend in fashion embracing ambiguos gendered and trans models as “troubling.” And that’s what’s troubling. Don’t believe it? Stylecaster screengrabbed the nauseating writeup from FHM.
Check out more photos from Terry Richardson’s Blue Man campaign shoot, including a male kiss.