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2015 has been a big year of firsts for trans women in the fashion industry. Let’s run down the milestones we’ve hit this year: Hari Nef became the first U.S.-based trans model on the IMG boards, Andreja Pejic became the first openly trans model profiled by Vogue in the May 2015 issue, Caroline ‘Tula’ Cossey became the first openly trans model to model for Playboy this past June, seriously, the list, it goes on.

Add another milestone to this most milestone-y year, the first transgender modeling agency is set to open in Los Angeles. As Mashable reports, Apple Model Management, a Bangkok-based agency that caters to male and female trans models is set to open in LA with the modeling world’s first-ever trans division.

“In the past years Transgender people have become more and more accepted in many areas of music, entertainment, fashion and commercial advertising due to names such as Aderet, Alexandra Billings, Lavern Cox, Isis King, Lea T. and Andrej Pejic just to name a few.

Thailand has been hosting the famous ‘Miss International Queen’ transgender competition for contestants from all over the world for the past 10 years and has been known in its openness to the gay and transgender community.

As a result, Apple Model Management has opened the first of its kind, full transgender model division, with the goal of giving transgender models an international stage to work worldwide and to globally represent Thailand and South East Asia.”

The whole shebang will be headed by agency director Cecilio Asuncion. Asuncion is optimist about opening a US branch of the agency in a world he sees “slowly changing.”

“We want equality in the workplace…there is a big fashion market, why not give them a piece?” he says, re: the LA move.

The US branch of Apple Model Management already has six models, and is actively looking to sign more trans clients. Just like other agencies, they’re looking for their women to be at least 5’8 and their men to be at least 6’0.

Ultimately, Asuncion sees this U.S. branch of the agency has being both good for the fashion industry and the trans community.

“It is time for the LGBT community to step up and help one another,” he says. “The lay of the land is changing. We truly want to develop the best models.”

Three cheers for this game-changing, history-making modeling agency! We can’t wait to see all the great things they do!


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