Aaron Philip: Uniting the Industry

Earlier this year, Moschino announced the face of their Fall/Winter 2020 campaign as Aaron Philip. 

For Philip, a black transgender and disabled model, this is her first high fashion modelling campaign. For the disabled, black and LGBTQ+ communities, this is a momentous campaign signalling a change in the fashion and beauty industry.

Image Credit: Instagram @aaron__philip

But this is not Aaron’s only major industry-breaking first. In 2018, she became the first black, disabled and transgender model to sign with a major modelling agency, Elite Management. 

Having landed her first magazine cover in June 2019 for Paper magazine, in which she was interviewed by none other than Naomi Campbell, she has quickly become a name to remember in the modelling world. That year, Philip also featured in Miley Cyrus’ music video for ‘Mother’s Daughter’.

Even before her modelling career, Philip was outspoken about her experiences growing up in the Bronx as a teenager diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy; she published an autobiography ‘This Kid Can Fly: It’s About Ability (Not Disability)’ at just 14 years old. 

Aaron has continued to actively champion disabled and trans representation and rights among her large social media following. In a NowThis Entertainment interview, she said ‘I want to get signed to a modelling agency…because there’s such little representation for disabled bodies, people with disabilities, and black, trans women and femmes, and non-binary people in general. And somehow, I’m at the intersection of all of that and not once have I seen myself properly represented.’

Image credit: Aaron Philip in ‘Mother’s Daughter’ (artist: Miley Cyrus)

Philip is spearheading the fight for increased representation for often marginalised communities and forcing the fashion industry to confront its prejudices about what is considered “beautiful”. In the black and white images for the campaign, Aaron stares strikingly at the viewer, forcing them to directly address their own prejudices – all whilst channelling a ‘sexy, alien Marie Antoinette’.

Her partnership with Moschino is a significant milestone in a journey for redefining mainstream fashion, both within the everyday, as well as in high fashion houses. Aaron gives those who are often underrepresented in many areas of society- not just fashion- a voice through which they can be heard. She holds the door open for millions of others who are marginalised, paving the way for more opportunity. In a world marred by division and prejudice, Aaron Philip brings unity, hope and couture.

Header image: Dazed.