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IMG signs on transgender model

Hari Nef has some great advice for aspiring models and other humans

By Deepa Menon  May 30th, 2015

Hari Nef (pronounced haw-ree) is a transgender woman who was recently signed on by the modelling agency that manages Gisele Bündchen, Karlie Kloss and Gigi Hadid. The 22-year-old Columbia grad is a role model among young men who have or want to transition into becoming women. She is open about her own transition without going into details about which surgeries she’s had or how many—a stand many trans people are now starting to take. Nef’s being signed on by IMG is being seen as a validation of the trans community as a legitimate demographic to design for and market to.

We love Nef’s tips, from the FAQs on her Tumblr, on how she made it in the world of fashion. Actually, this is just good advice no matter what your line of work. “I tried to surround myself with cool people whose work I admired. I’d hit them up on email, ask to intern for them, to assist on their show, to do free labor for them. I’d go to their parties and pop up next to them at their bottle. I was persistent but never impolite. If you’re trying to work and move up, it has to be done with grace and the subtlest gloss of indifference. Faking it until you “make” it works. People are gullible, and want to say no.”

You may also want to read: ELLE India’s Ungender photo series