Ariel Nicholson is making trans history!
The 20-year-old model is featured alongside others including Bella Hadid, Lola Leon, Sherry Shi, Yumi Nu, Kaia Gerber, Precious Lee, and Anok Yai, as the “models who make the moment” on the cover of the latest issue of American Vogue. This makes Nicholson the first out trans model to be on the cover of the historic, long-running fashion magazine.
In the issue, Nicholson talked about the limits of what representation can do. “Obviously it’s a big deal being the first trans woman on the cover of Vogue, but it’s also hard to say exactly what kind of big deal it is when the effects are so intangible,” she said.
“I’ve been put in this box – oh trans model,” she continued, “which is what I am, but that’s not all I am.”
The cover sees the models standing around in the Condé Nast Vogue offices in New York City as staffers are working. The cover was shot by Ethan James Green.
On Instagram, Nicholson talked about how excited she was to be a part of the cover. “Feeling unbelievably blessed to be a part of Vogue history as the first trans person to be featured on the cover of American Vogue,” she said. “I’m grateful to work alongside legends. I’m grateful for the communities that have shaped me and inspire me every day.”
Australian model Andreja Pejic became the first out transgender model to be profiled on the pages of American Vogue in 2015, shortly after she transitioned. Since then, several trans models and actors have been on the cover of various Vogue international editions.
Before Pejic, April Ashley was a trans model working in the 1960’s who appeared in British Vogue. Unfortunately, when she was outed by tabloids, her modeling career ended. Several other trans models have also appeared in the magazine while living stealth.
In 2019, Laverne Cox made her Vogue cover debut when she appeared on the cover of British Vogue with several other women. Pose star Indya Moore has graced the covers of Vogue Italia and Vogue India last year, becoming the first trans model to have two Vogue covers.
Other models like Leyna Bloom and Valentina Sampaio have also appeared in international editions.
Congratulations to Nicholson! We hope this is the first of many covers for her!