The New Andrej Pejic?: Meet Casey Legler, A Woman Working As A Male Model

Casey Legler, like many models, is tall (6’2”) with a long lanky torso and really cool hair. She’s also represented by Ford Models… on the men’s board.

In recent seasons, there’s been a lot of gender-related trailblazing in the fashion industry–what with the high profile careers of Andrej Pejic, Lea T and Stav Strashko (of that Toyota commercial)–but finally a woman is breaking those same boundaries.

Legler grew up tall and started swimming competitively in her native France (even qualifying for the Olympic games at 18). She moved to New York to pursue a career in art and broke into the modeling world when a friend, photographer Cass Bird, needed a male model for a Muse editorial. Ford saw the photos the next day and signed Legler soon after.

Legler shot a short video interview with TIME in which she reflects on her unexpected career move and on the broader subjects of “gender identify,” the kind of clinical term she’s hesitant to employ (preferring more open language about freedom and expression):

“I understand signifiers. We’re social creatures and we have a physical language of communicating with each other. But it would be a really beautiful thing if we could all just wear what we wanted, without it meaning something.”

She adds elsewhere,

“What I wish is that we all get to be exactly who we are. And… sometimes that’s complicated. [...] We have very specific ways in which we identify ourselves as men or women. And I think sometimes those can be limiting. It would be a lovely place if we didn’t necessarily judge or jump to conclusions because someone wants to wear a dress or wants to wear pants.”

And, remarkably photogenic though she may be, she’s also quick to acknowledge the debt she owes to Pejic and his peers: “Andrej is gorgeous. In many ways I come ushered in by that.” Regardless of how she got here, we’re glad to have her.

Please go watch her be thoughtful, candid and inspiring over at TIME (and then read another exceptionally charming interview she did here).

Oh, and here she is as photographed by Michael Donovan:

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    • Cee

      Can I have her? My girlfriend wont mind it!

    • BeccaTheCyborg

      Yes, please. (Though Lea T is a woman.)

      • Ashley Cardiff

        Yes, Lea T is a woman and I regret including her if it gave any impression that I believe she’s somehow male “first.” I suppose I included her simply because when her career began that was less defined.

    • Boo

      She sounds amazing! My immediate thought after reading her interview quotes was “Can I be friends with her?!?”

      • Ashley Cardiff

        You have to watch the video! She comes across as bright and sunny and lovely, even though she looks so cool.

    • Michael

      How can she say that shes the “only girl doing men’s fashion” when she is friens with one of the hottest girl who does male modeling ERIKA LINDER!!!!!!

      • Ashley Cardiff

        To my knowledge, she is in fact the only woman doing male modeling (exclusively).

        …And Erika Linder is gorgeous–especially in menswear–but she also does regular old pretty lady modeling.

      • Ashley Cardiff

        And yeah, tons of beautiful androgynous women have modeled menswear–off the top of my head, Agyness, obviously Freja, Valerija Kelava, Omahyra Mota, some of Meisel’s best photographs of Linda Evangelista–I think “exclusively” is the important distinction here.