Why Vincent Beier Was the Hottest Model on the Women’s Runway in 2017

Wearing a dress shouldn’t be “such a big thing”

Countless designers have blurred the lines between genders over the years, but 2017 has become somewhat of a banner year for models aiming to do the same both on and off the catwalk. While the CFDA announced an entirely new category—coed—on the New York fashion week lineup for the coming season, every day is gender fluid for Danish catwalker Vincent Beier, and according to the model, has been “since I was born.”

When Fashion Unfiltered spoke to Beier backstage during the Spring 2018 season (during which he walked both Prabal Gurung and Coach 1941), his “hope” was to one day see more “mixed and fluid” collections. He also envisioned a future were anyone other than a cisgender female model sporting a dress wouldn’t be considered “such a big thing.” After all, he noted, “your right to wear women’s clothing is not something you have to fight for.” And he’s correct—at least for the moment in Trump’s ever-tumultuous America. Strutting the sidewalk in stilettos isn’t always understood or met with a modeling contract, but unlike using the bathroom that corresponds to your gender identity, you can (as far as we know) legally sashay into the men’s restroom wearing a mini skirt. And with so many houses (like Gucci and Helmut Lang) continually pushing the gender boundaries or erasing them entirely, perhaps more men will.

That’s not to say that Beier has always been applauded for his sartorial risks. “When I was a kid, I got bullied a bit,” he said. “Some people don’t like it or what you’re wearing and say stuff in the streets.” His response to the haters, however, remains unchanged: “I just feel like you have to accept people as long as they don’t harm others.” (Trump, take note.) While he said it’s “more acceptable” to express himself and book jobs in New York when compared to Europe, he is quick to point out that there is a vast difference between NYC and the rest of the country. “I feel like America is a big thing and New York is not even close to half of it,” he said. Indeed.

One can only hope that models like Beier and the long-overdue changes to NYFW calendar serve as a vehicle to change minds and positively influence people all over the country and the world. While the catwalker “gets” that some designers are “appealing to a more conservative market,” there’s no denying that this statuesque Dane looks damn good in a dress… and pretty much anything else he decides to put on, be it Pat McGrath’s latest lipstick, a scintillating see-through gown, or a cheeky pair of cutoffs. As we head into the New Year, here’s hoping the masses adopt Beier’s mantra when it comes to fashion, beauty, and beyond: “Do what you want to do and feel free.”

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