Since coming out as transgender in September 2017, Teddy Quinlivan has become an outspoken advocate for the transgender community and the struggles of models in the industry, particularly during the #MeToo movement. She has used her status to lobby for more inclusion in fashion, while working with the world’s most renowned designers.
Quinlivan grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and attended a public school. She transitioned when she was 16 and has been presenting herself as cisgender ever since. Her modelling career took off after being discovered by Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière in 2015, when she made her debut as an exclusive for the Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2016 show. Since then, she has walked in shows for Saint Laurent , Dior, Gucci, Prada and Chanel, and appeared in editorials for American Vogue, Vogue Japan, Love magazine and Teen Vogue. Quinlivan was also on the cover of i-D magazine’s Spring 2018 issue.
Quinlivan came out as transgender in a CNN Style interview during New York Fashion Week in September 2017. Her decision, she says, was based on the political climate in the world, particularly in the US under the Trump administration, where backlash against the transgender community increased. Since then, Quinlivan has been outspoken on the challenges that transgender models face in the industry.
During the #MeToo movement, Quinlivan revealed at the Gurls Talk festival that she had been sexually assaulted multiple times throughout her career and private life, joining the list of models who have publicly accused fashion industry members of sexual abuse.