New York Fashion Week witnessed its first show featuring only transgender models. Masterminded by Marco Morante, the Dominirican designer behind Marco Marco – an LA-based clothing worn by Nicki Minaj, Katy Petty, and Britney Spears – the show made history and helped to bring some diversity to an industry that still upholds a narrow view of beauty.
While Morante, who grew up in Los Angeles, has always supported the trans community, this time he chose to feature 34 trans models, including Angelica Ross from FX’s Pose and YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous. “I wanted to create a space to celebrate trans bodies,” designer Marco Morante told Mic. “This was an opportunity for their presence to be undeniable and reinforce that trans is beautiful.”
With this pioneering show at Style Fashion Week, Morante cemented his place as a true champion of gender diversity in the fashion world. But Morante’s history with the LGBTQ and drag communities goes even further back. His designs are often on Ru Paul’s Drag Race (he started working with the show in 2009), and he’s included some of the queens in past shows before.
Below, get to know the half-Dominican, half-Puerto Rican designer to the queens.