trans style icon collage

It’s been almost a year since Barney’s debuted its fashion campaign that featured 17 transgender models. Within that year actress Laverne Cox made the cover of TIME Magazine, writer Janet Mock landed her own MSNBC web show So Popular! and the world slowly woke up to the brilliance that trans women everywhere have been serving since…well, forever. Here are eleven trans women who have pushed the conversation about transness forward while serving up some serious style.

1. Janet Mock

janet mock via instagram tracee ellis ross

(Photo via Instagram)

When Janet Mock isn’t busy hosting her MSNBC web show So Popular! or writing New York Times bestsellers, she’s serving us all the fashion we could ever want on Instagram. Janet’s style is so on point that it was actually kind of stressful choosing a picture that would do her justice. This one with Tracee Ellis Ross ended up being one of my favorites.

2. Hari Nef 

hari nef via hari nef instagram

(Photo via Instagram)

 At 22, actress-model-writer Hari Nef has already been on the cover of a magazine, walked the runway during New York Fashion Week and penned beautifully written pieces for publications like Adult Magazine. After looking at a list of her accomplishmentsI’m pretty sure there’s nothing she can’t do.

3. Laverne Cox

21st Annual SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards

(Photo via

If Lupita Nyong’o is the empress of the red carpet then Laverne Cox is its undisputed Queen (in my book anyway). In addition to making us laugh while we binge watch her on the Netflix show Orange Is The New Black, she also knows how to rock the heck out of an Instagram-worthy cocktail dress.

4. Isis King 

Isis King via Ms Isis King Instagram

(Photo via Instagram)

While it’s admittedly been years since I’ve watched America’s Next Top Model one of the highlights of viewing the show for me was seeing Isis King make history as the first trans woman to ever compete in the competition. Since her Top Model days she went on to make another noteworthy accomplishment by becoming the first trans person to model for  American Apparel.

 5. Octavia Saint Laurent 

trans style icon_ octavia saint laurent via oldschoolballroom dvds youtube

(Image via YouTube)

If you’ve seen the iconic documentary Paris Is Burning then you’ve probably heard of Octavia Saint Laurent (who at one time apparently went by the fabulous name Heavenly Angel Octavia Saint Laurent Manolo Blahnik). Maybe the only thing better than Octavia’s incredibly sophisticated 90s style and amazing monikers was her inspiring sense of self.

6. Andreja Pejic

Andreja Pejic via Andreja Pejic Instagram

(Photo via Instagram)

Model Andreja Pejic has scored some major coups in her fashion career. Last year she bravely came out as a transgender woman and even sought to raise funds for a documentary called Andrej(a) about her transition.

 7. Juliana Huxtable

juliana huxtable via instagram

(Image via Instagram)

While you were gushing over that amazing all-trans C☆NDY Magazine cover you might not have noticed  that Juliana Huxtable (AKA the gorgeous girl in the white dress) was also part of that spread. When Juliana isn’t posing in magazines with some of the most visible trans women in pop culture she’s busy making awesome mixes as a DJ and giving incredible interviews like this one for StyleLikeU’s The What’s Underneath Project.

8. Geena Rocero 

Keep A Child Alive's 11th Annual Black Ball - Arrivals

(Photo via Getty Images)

Geena Rocero is the kind of shero who is so brave it gives you chills. Years after immigrating to the US from the Philippines and becoming a model, she put her privacy on the line by coming out as transgender during a TED Talk. Geena, being the amazing human being she is, followed up her viral TED talk by launching the trans advocacy organization Gender Proud.

9. Carmen Carrera

"Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word" Logo TV Premiere Party & Screening

(Photo via Getty Images)

If you fell in love with Carmen Carrera and her eye-catching outfits on RuPaul’s Drag Race, then you’re probably over the moon about the trail she’s blazing for trans women in the fashion world. Long before appearing on that C☆NDY Magazine cover with Laverne Cox, Geena Rocero and Janet Mock, she was signed to Elite Model Management and was featured in an epic spread of her own W Magazine.

10. Tracy Africa Norman 

Tracey Africa Norman via YouTube

(Image via YouTube)

Long before trans models Geena Rocero and Carmen Carrera got their start, there was Tracy Africa Norman. Her modeling career, which included stints modeling for Essence Magazine, Clairol and Avon Skincare, unfortunately came to an abrupt end when she was outed to the editor of Essence.

11. Lea T 


(Photo via Getty Images)

If you haven’t heard of Lea Cerezo AKA Lea T then you might have been living under a rock. After her steamy photoshoot with male model Tyson Beckford she made headlines for becoming the first trans person to represent Redken.