Models told by agents not to reveal they're gay/bi/trans? How this new modelling agency could change everything

accreditation

Manhattan. The heart of the modelling world. A new LGBTQI+ model agency, New Pandemics has recently established itself here, and it's planning to change the world of fashion in terms of queer visibility. 

W Magazine reports that the co-founder Cody Chandler says that the agency currently represents 17 models. And with its rapid Instagram follower growth, it can only be assumed that the world is, in fact, on board with this agency's approach. 

Like a mainstream agency, the website features its models' measurements, but what's different is that it also includes the pronouns by which they wish to be called.

Mecca prefers Her/She. 

Image: Supplied

The agency doesn't exclusively sign LGBTQI models, but are purposely very inclusive of this community, as a means to increase the number of working LGBTQI models in fashion. And as an added bonus, 10% of the agency's profits go towards supporting non-profit organisations serving the LGBTQI community.   

Models.com writes that not only will LGBTQI visibility be increased by the existence of an agency like this, but it will directly help to smash stigmas surrounding being queer. 

The website goes on to note, very importantly, that it will improve diversity, which is so necessary considering a recent forum discussion on the website around the topic. Models discussed that their managers and agents tell them to rather not disclose their sexual orientation (if queer) to potential clients as it would impact on their chances to get booked for jobs.

Image: Getty

"The subject of diversity in fashion stands as an extensive pillar of disgruntlement. The fashion industry sells a lifestyle of luxurious perfection yet, up until very recently, who was included in that narrative was normally painted as tall, skinny, and white. For those outside that singular description, with coins to spend, fashion runways and billboards have fallen short of expectations. As the industry moves to rectify racial biases, many models call for further pushes of diversity in skin colour, gender identity, and height, " writes Models.com

Fashion editor and writer, Daniel Geldenhuys says that in South Africa, agencies like My Friend Ned and a new one called Fantastic are the best in terms of queer representation. 

It's good to know that an effort is being here at home.

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
22% - 531 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
10% - 230 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 1167 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 36 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 437 votes
Vote