Yesterday, Teddy Quinlivan, a model and activist who has walked for Gucci, Chloé, and Louis Vuitton and worked with beauty brands such as Milk Makeup and Redken, took to Instagram to announce the exciting news that she is the first openly transgender person to work for Chanel.
Quinlivan shared a video from the beauty campaign, in which she’s shown applying the brand’s Rouge Coco lipstick in Légende, alongside an emotional caption. “I find I don’t cry anymore when things are sad, but isn’t it interesting when we shed tears in moments of triumph. This was one of those triumphant cry moments for me,” she wrote. “My whole life has been a fight. From being bullied at school consistently, kids threatening to kill me and going into graphic detail how they were going to do it, my own father beating me and calling me a faggot, to receiving industry blowback after speaking publicly about being sexually assaulted on the job. This was a victory that made all of that shit worth it.”
Talking about her recent work with Chanel, Quinlivan continued, “I had walked 2 shows for Chanel while I was living in stealth (stealth meaning I hadn’t made my trans identity public yet) and when I came out I knew I’d stop working with some brands, I thought I’d never work with the iconic house of Chanel ever again. But here I am in Chanel beauty advertising. I am the first openly trans person to work for the house of Chanel and I am deeply humbled and proud to represent my community.”
Quinlivan also shared some powerful advice for her over 92,000 followers: “The world will kick you down, spit on you, and tell you you’re worthless. It’s your job to have the strength to stand up and push on, to keep fighting, Because if you give up then you will never experience the tears of triumph. Thank you to everyone who made this dream a reality!”
Hundreds took to the comments section under Quinlivan’s post to congratulate her on her new role with the brand, which counts the likes of Kristen Stewart and models Mayowa Nicholas and Tami Williams as faces. “Yesssss this is a big win for us all and you deserve it mama,” wrote one. Another commented: “Congrats Teddy! You’re an example for everyone out there trying to stand up. Keep it up!”
In her Instagram Stories, Quinlivan took the opportunity to applaud other LGBTQ+ individuals, such as Laverne Cox and Euphoria ‘s Hunter Schafer for their achievements. “This is such an exciting time to be alive if you are a member of the LGBTQ community, especially if you’re trans because trans girls are just out here fucking killing it,” she said. “We have Hunter Schafer in Euphoria murdering it, we have Laverne Cox absolutely destroying the game. We keep getting ourselves out there, making a difference and bringing the trans community to the global stage. I’m proud of my community and I’m proud to be a fucking lit transgender woman.”