Model of The Week: Krow
Meet Krow Kian – The Transgender Male Model Conquering Fashion World
The final Louis Vuitton show of the women’s fashion week in Paris was closed by a transgender male model Krow Kian. It’s not a first time he collaborates with such a famous brand: back in October 2018, Krow debuted his new official status as a man during the final show of the brand in Louvre. It’s time to narrate how the 23-year-old model has passed his way from female model keened on anime and cosplay to a successful transgender model on covers of Dazed magazine and L’Uomo Vogue.
Back to spring 2018, a famous casting director Ashley Brokaw who selects models for world’s largest brands from Prada to Balenciaga, started doing a research of the new faces for Louis Vuitton spring-summer 2019 collection presentation as always hosted in Paris during Fashion Weeks. Nicolas Ghesquière, the creative director, asked her to seek for models who could reflect gender neutrality and non-binary of the fashion industry. Brokaw has picked both cisgender models and models with an androgynous appearance, and also the representatives of LGBT, such as Jay Espinoza an Alicia Sardin. There was Krow Kian among them – a model from the suburb of Vancouver, in the middle of the process of his transformation into a male through changes of his biological gender.
From Canada, Krow became a model when he was 12 years old. Back to when he was a girl, he signed a contract with his first agent and moved to Japan for work. Three years later he realised for the first time he feels bad in his own body. «I was very particular as a female model,» – Krow reminisces in a recent interview given for Dazed. – «I was uncomfortable with my chest, obviously, but whenever (people) would be like, ‘Can we have you with your shirt off or have you braless so your nipples are poking through the shirt?’ I’d be like, ‘Absolutely not.’ My own anxiety about my body overpowered my care for what other people thought.»
At his 18, he decided to quit modelling, cut out his long hair sending his mother a photo of the locks lying on the floor, and started getting prepared to a medical transformation from female gender to male one. This process took around three years – from September 2015 till 2018. All this time Gina Hole Lazarowich, a makeup artist, who set to try herself as a director, was making a documentary film about him on her own money and by the enthusiasm of the small filming crew. The film called «Krow Transformation» is at the stage of post-production, and Lazarovich launched a campaign on Kickstarter in order to finish it, but unfortunately, she collected only $8,000 instead of needed $37,000. This is a story about what is like to get courage for coming out, change your biological gender and keep – meaning – launch again the career in the fashion industry.
During the transgender transformation Krow signed a new model contract with a Canadian model agency Lizbell. The agency organised for its model some photo tests for the first Louis Vuitton show, after which he was invited for casting in Paris. When he already was there, he thought that a casting director laboured under a delusion taking him as a woman. «t was me and some of the other models, and some of them were very female-looking. I was like, ‘Oh God, are they looking for trans women? Did they get confused?’» And he was completely astounded when he got a callback.
Krow assumed that if a brand with such a great reputation wants to present its clothes on people of very diverse gender identity, it is a very important step forward to inclusivity in the fashion industry. «I noticed that fashion really starts expanding the boundaries of the permissible that was established long ago. I’m truly inspired by the possibility of implementation for so many gender-fluid and queer models. And I hope that more children will understand that being yourself is normal without any restrictions and stereotypes. Because there’s still prejudice against trans people and people are still worried about being judged or attacked. It’s important just to have an open discussion. I think that’s the first step.»
During past fashion weeks in Paris Krow walk down the catwalk for Alexander McQueen, Haider Ackermann and Proenza Schouler, and closed up the Louis Vuitton show. At the same time, he took part in their SS’19 advertising campaign, shortly before becoming the first transgender model on L’Uomo Vogue cover. In the spring issue of Dazed – with Krow on its cover – dedicated to future of the fashion, he starred in the great photo shoot and gave an interview in which he confessed his love to David Bowie’s style, to k-pop music and to cosplay.
Despite the success and recognition in fashion, the industry isn’t the only thing Krow dreams about – he still wants to become a musician. «I like to work in front of the public, I like when people smile to me. I hope to pump up my skills in the show business: the model career could help with a music one and vice versa, and altogether it would help me to start acting.»