Can you slay a runway?
Slay Model Management, the world’s first modeling agency that exclusively represents transgender talent, is seeking fresh faces, WWD reports. The agency will host its first official “Model Search” February 15 in Los Angeles.
“We are looking for star quality,” says Cecilio Asuncion, Slay Model Management’s founder and director. “It takes more than beauty to be a top model. It takes determination, a healthy outlook, and a visceral understanding that she is a model first, and a trans woman second.”
“Slay is not about selling transness,” Asuncion continues. “We are selling a young woman’s capability to represent a brand or designer. Sure, it’s great to be booked during June for Pride Month, but what we want is sustainability and opportunities year-round.”
“Fashion is changing. Companies understand the need for representation, diversity, and inclusion,” he explains, adding that he believes trans models will soon be hired for their beauty alone and not because of their gender identity. “One of the biggest misconceptions is that a trans model has to be an activist. Frankly, I don’t believe they do. By polishing their craft and representing themselves as the best in the business, they will help future generations.”
To enter the search, aspiring trans models should click on the “Get Scouted” tab on the Slay Model Management website. The 25 finalists, selected from online entries, will be invited to compete in the February 15 finale at One Culver. These hopefuls will vie for three slots on the agency’s roster.
The event will be hosted by model Arisce Wanzer (pictured) and celebrity DJ Lina Bradford, who are both represented by Slay Model Management. Wanzer made history in 2016 as the first trans model on the cover of the Spiegel catalog.
Prior to the competition, which will be judged by industry professionals, all finalists will attend a “Model Boot Camp,” where they will be coached by top photographers, stylists, and editors.
Slay’s models have appeared in campaigns for such companies as Eva Mendes for New York and Co., Nikita Dragun’s Cosmetics company, Dragun Beauty, and Katy Perry Fragrance, as well as in television shows like Pose, Law & Order: SVU, Project Runway, and Next in Fashion.
The 2016 Oxygen series Strut, produced by Whoopi Goldberg, focused on Slay and the challenges its models faced in the fashion industry, including Laith Ashley, Dominique Jackson, and Isis King.