IMG Signs Transgender Model Hari Nef

The recent Columbia graduate is the newest addition to the agency's roster.
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Alyssa Vingan Klein
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The recent Columbia graduate is the newest addition to the agency's roster.
Hari Nef. Photo: Kathy Lo for 'Paper'

Hari Nef. Photo: Kathy Lo for 'Paper'

If you aren't familiar with the name Hari Nef, that's likely about to change. The transgender actress, writer and model — who just graduated from Columbia University last week — has garnered quite the following within the fashion industry over the past few seasons. Aside from walking runways for Adam Selman, Hood by Air and Eckhaus Latta, she's starred in a video campaign for Selfridges, made the 2015 Dazed 100 list (alongside Kendall Jenner and the like), appeared in Paper magazine's 2015 Beautiful People issue and was recently name-dropped in Vogue.

Now, she has one of the biggest modeling agencies in the game behind her. IMG's Ivan Bart took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce that Nef has been signed to its women's/talent board. She joins only one transgender model, Valentijn De Hingh, at the agency (though De Hingh is only represented in Paris).

Despite the attention that a handful of trans models have received lately — Andreja Pejic just earned a Make Up For Ever campaign and a Vogue profile, and Givenchy muse Lea T. was the face (or rather, the hair) of Redken's Chromatics hair color in 2014 — there are still very few who have scored big-name contracts. (Pejic is represented by The Society and Lea T. has a spot on Women Management's board.) It's a pretty big deal that the industry's most well-known agency, which represents the likes of Candice Swanepoel, Gigi Hadid, Sasha Pivovarova and many more, has taken a step in this direction and expanded its roster to embrace a more diverse definition of beauty. (To be fair, IMG already represents top plus-size models like Ashley Graham, as well as models in their 70s and 80s, like Lauren Hutton and China Machado.)

We're sending Nef huge congrats on her new gig, and we suggest keeping your eyes peeled for her in the coming months.

Front page photo: Imaxtree