Trans model, Avie Acosta moved to New York City from Edmond, Oklahoma to pursue big dreams and like most of us, one has to shed aspects of your past in order to search out new ones. One of those new ones was Hari Nef, the first transgender model signed to super-agency IMG,
“I unfollowed the people I went to school with and started following people throughout the world that I thought I’d be friends with if I wasn’t in Oklahoma…
I randomly followed her [Hari] during that spurt because I just liked her Instagram. Then she started getting publicity and, reading her words, I was like, wait. I identify with that.”
Acosta, who was born male, was then in the process of figuring out her gender identity and had started to feel that she needed to change her life in a big, way… and it had something to do with New York.
Moving to New York and meeting a few well-placed individuals as one does, in a matter of months Acosta had an agent, runway jobs, and a circle of friends in the city — everything she’d envisioned back in Oklahoma. (It’s called The Law of Attraction… from personal experience, it works.)
Acosta is signed to the men’s board at Wilhelmina. But in keeping with fashion’s increasingly genderless mood — as seen at Alessandro Michele’s revamped Gucci and the unisex approach of New York lines like Hood by Air, Baja East, Eckhaus Latta, and 69 — Acosta has been going on go-sees for both men’s and women’s shows.
When she first came to New York, she briefly went off hormones,
“Once I got here I was like, wait, I have a lot of this space to just exist. [In Oklahoma] I was very concerned with all the typical trans things like passing or like being misgendered at work. I would let that be this very draining thing for me. And I didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t want to be in the same position that I was in in Oklahoma, just in a different city. I wanted to change it all.”
She has since gone back on hormone treatments, but she speaks of those days as a charmed time when she didn’t have to fit into one category or the other, but could float between them for a while. Her family still doesn’t really understand all of this.
“Things have never been good with my parents or anything… [Her father] checks in. I send him links to the things that come out [about me]. They read them and they respond… I think that they’re doing a lot better job with it.
I was really broke for a month… I think I’m still broke, because this is New York.”
You can follow Avie on Instagram here.
(Photos, Tetsu Kubota; via New York)