Kirsten Andersen


Modeling agency signs woman to its male modeling division

Kirsten Andersen

NEW YORK CITY, February 8, 2013, ( – The fashion industry is fiercely proud of its position on the leading edge of the sexual revolution, a status that it continues to earn with one of its newest trends. An increasing number of models are being used to model clothing of the opposite sex.

Bodily androgyny has long been popular in the world of high fashion. Models of both sexes are typically tall and slender, with waxed, hairless skin, pouting lips, high cheekbones, and come-hither eyes.

In many ways, French-born model Casey Legler, 35, is no different. Rail-thin at 6’2”, with an edgy haircut and a handful of tattoos, she fits effortlessly into the heroin-chic aesthetic of the New York fashion scene where she makes her living. But Legler is unique in the fashion world for one thing: She models only male clothing.

Legler is a former Olympic swimmer who keeps her hair in a masculine crop and whose neck and arm tattoos go far beyond the socially expected “feminine” selections like flowers or butterflies. She says she was not surprised to be asked to model as a man.

“I mean, anyone can look at me for two seconds and see that that part is actually not so complicated,” she told Time magazine in an interview. “I think the part that can feel complicated sometimes is that I also look really fierce in a dress, you know. I've been taught by the best queens about how to rock some heels...and I think that's where it gets exciting.”

Legler isn’t the only gender-bending model currently walking the runway. Andrej Pejica young male model from Bosnia, has become an industry superstar by mostly modeling women’s clothing, including bridalwear and push-up bras. “Andrej is gorgeous,” Legler told Time. “In many ways, I come ushered in by that.”

Other up-and-coming models who play both sides of the gender aisle include:

  • Stav Strashko, a male model who appeared in a controversial Toyota commercial as a topless “woman;”

  • Erika Linder, a young Swedish woman who models both male and female clothing; and

  • Saskia de Brauw, a female Dutch model who was recently signed as the new face of Yves Saint Laurent menswear.

But Legler is so far the only woman known to have signed a contract to model men’s clothing exclusively.

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“As far as I know there aren’t any other women exclusively modeling as male models,” Legler said. “That is such a weird thing to say ‘cause you know, I’m a woman! It speaks to this notion of freedom…there’s something really bold about that. Look! There is also this other way. And it’s really rad.”

Legler was hired on at Ford this summer after photographer Cass Bird, a personal friend, invited her to model in the role of a man for a Muse magazine photo shoot. An agent at Ford Models saw the pictures, and the next day, Legler was invited to join their roster of male models.

Legler will walk the runway exclusively in men’s clothing at fashion shows in Paris in January, and New York in February.

“This is a unique little moment that fashion is allowing to have happen,” said Legler.

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