Transgender model Teddy Quinlivan is the new face of Chanel Beauty

A big win for representation

Marie Claire Digital News and Entertainment Editor / August 28 2019

Model Teddy Quinlivan knows how to front a beauty campaign, but her latest role is not only a major career milestone - it's history-making. Quinlivan has been announced as the new face of Chanel Beauty and is the first openly transgender model to be hired by the fashion house. The model shared the news on Instagram with a video and photo from the campaign, along with a heartfelt message about the importance of this next move.

“I find I don’t cry anymore when things are sad, but isn’t it interesting when we shed tears in moments of triumph?” she wrote in the caption. “This was one of those triumphant cry moments for me. 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 f–got, to receiving industry blowback after speaking publicly about being sexually assaulted on the job.…This was a victory that made all of that s–t worth it.”

💄CHANEL BEAUTY💄 -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. 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 fagot, 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. 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. 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! @nicolaskantor @shazmakeup @sebastienrichard1 @casadevallbelen
💄CHANEL BEAUTY💄 -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. 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 fagot, 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. 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. 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! @nicolaskantor @shazmakeup @sebastienrichard1 @casadevallbelen

Quinlivan has walked the runways for brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, before coming out as transgender in 2017.

"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," she wrote. "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 is among good company in the fashion industry paving the way. Transgender model Andreja Pejic modelled for MAKE UP FOR EVER, while Victoria's Secret model Valentina Sampaio has also worked with L'Oreal Paris. Adding Chanel to the list of brands prioritising diversity and representation is a triumph to celebrate.

Speaking of Andreja Pejic, we sat down with the model for an exclusive chat and this is the beauty ritual she swears by when she wants to unwind.

Are you excited for Teddy's debut as the face of Chanel Beauty? Let us know in the comments below.

Main image credit: Getty

Grace is the Digital News and Entertainment Editor at marie claire and InStyle Australia. When not stuck in a seemingly endless Instagram scroll, you'll find Grace with her head in a good book.