Long before Olympic athlete and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner stole headlines for coming out as a transgender woman, hundreds of activists before her were already fighting the stifling confines of gender binarism. It’s simply not enough to only have two options for gender identity, which is why Hari Nef – the first ever transgender model to sign onto IMG Worldwide modelling agency (joining names like Gisele Bundchen and Gigi Hadid) – has taken it upon herself to utilise her popularity and platform in fashion to fight for transgender rights. She isn’t just intelligent, beautiful and stunning, but an extremely self-aware individual and authentic soul that’s often absent in the industry.

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The 23-year-old theatre graduate from Columbia is breaking down barriers like a speeding cannonball, which has left the fashion community entranced: her self-cut bangs, staunch attitude and mascu-feminine outfits are surprising, and refreshing.

She oscillates between the entire spectrum of gender expression with a bewitching magnetism that has propelled her to unprecedented stardom. Earlier this year she walked for Gucci’s AW16 show at Milan Fashion Week, landed a role playing Gittle on the widely acclaimed TV show Transparent and is now ranked eighth place on Dazed and Confused’s list of the top 100 people shaping youth culture.

She’s real, raw and represents the future of fashion.

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