Photography by Ryan Pfluger in Los Angeles on August 20, 2015. Styling by Alison Brooks. Hair: Ananda Tuyes. Makeup: Danielle Katherine. Dress by Joanna Johnson.
Two short years ago, Hari Nef was just another New York kid, hitting Lower East Side parties between modeling gigs. But this year, her profile exploded when she headlined the Agender campaign for the British department store Selfridges. Soon after, Nef became the first trans model to be signed for worldwide representation by the prestigious talent agency IMG, and she landed a role in season 2 of Transparent. “It’s been a lucky year,” Nef says. “In New York, you don’t always get to be what you want you to be. That changed for me.” The 23-year-old Ivy League grad — who has also shown up in an all-trans campaign for H&M’s sister label, & Other Stories, and in a music video for the band the Drums — is determined to use her profile to shed light on vital issues. “Triumphs for trans women have been directly proportional to an increase in violence against less-privileged trans women, particularly black trans women,” she notes. “It’s not all up to us, though — there needs to be more focus on the cisgender men who are killing us, and their prejudice.”