Lea T. took to the runway in São Paulo Saturday night in celebration of Elle Brazil’s 24th anniversary–but her turn on the catwalk marked an important personal landmark in the model’s career as well: According to Made in Brazil blog’s Juliano Corbetta, this is Lea T’s first modeling job after undergoing sexual reassignment surgery. The model opened up about her plans to have surgery when she went on Oprah in February of last year, telling Oprah, “Of course physically, this operation is a big operation…But at the same time, I think it’s mental too. To think like, ‘Wow, I cut part of my body.’”
Of course, being pre-op never stopped Lea T from tearing up runways and booking major editorials and covers.
She modeled swimwear in an ad campaign for Brazilian swim label Blue Man last fall.
Once again sporting designs by Blue Man, Lea looked gorgeous and tan walking alongside fellow Brazilian stunners Caroline Ribeiro and Isabeli Fontana (who looked suspiciously lighter than in those dermatologist-detested H&M snaps). And according to Made in Brazil, we can look forward to seeing a lot more of Lea this season, as she’s just been confirmed to be walking in several shows during Fashion Rio and Sau Paulo Fashion Week in the coming months.
The fashion world has long embraced Lea T. as a transgender icon–The past several years have seen her walk in countless shows for names like Givenchy, appearing in Vogue Paris spreads, and appearing on magazine covers alongside the likes of Kate Moss. We’re so excited to see Lea walking in Sau Paulo and find out what the future holds for her career now that’s she’s finally undergone her long-awaited procedure. Congratulations Lea T!