Who is Indya Moore and why is their new Calvin Klein campaign so important?

16th May 19 | Beauty

It’s an important step for positive trans representation.

2019 MET Museum Costume Institute Benefit Gala

Some of the most famous faces in the world have modelled for Calvin Klein, from Justin Bieber to Kim Kardashian and Kate Moss. Now, Indya Moore has been added to these auspicious ranks.

Moore is a transgender, non-binary model and actor, who found fame at the end of 2017 by starring in Pose – a TV show about New York ball culture in the 1980s. Even though they were born in the 90s, Moore still knows a thing or two about the ball scene – being from the Bronx and joining the House of Xtravaganza in the Noughties.

As someone who doesn’t identify as exclusively male or female, pronouns are important. Moore writes on Instagram: “I’m still navigating various levels of insecurity around the way people consume my identity,” but “In the meantime I do prefer that people use they/them pronouns to identify me.”

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i'm still navigating various levels of insecurity around the way people consume my identity & i often slip up in compromising my PGP for other peoples comfort in fear of their ability to understand and how that ends up being projected on me. Writing this makes me more aware of how problematic that is not only for me but for those i advocate for, so i appreciate the question. I am non binary but i also realize for cis people & even binary trans people, that my identity/PGP being respected depends on their ability to understand it- though I'm also aware it's not about their identity to understand it's about the neighbor in the person you should respect. Im overwhelmingly affected by my fears of being percieved as difficult in cases where I am misunderstood at the horizon of a difficulty I did not stimulate. so I usually keep it to myself to make it easier for others because i don't feel like alot of ppl are ready yet.. I'm also aware how cis assumed/binary I look so thats also why i feel conflicted. I usually just go along with it… I also feel bashful around correcting people- i'll get back soon with more courage and insight. In the meantime i do prefer that people use they them pronous to identify me.

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With Moore’s star on the rise and another major fashion campaign under their belt, here’s everything you need to know…

Who is Indya Moore?

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{pause} As the context of existential responsibility shifts between relativity around me, I am reminded time and time again that having a genuine relationship with/to reality, my identity and interactions outside of me maintains the purpose I made for myself out of my core values. A wise man told me what it means to be rich and priviledged is simply to buy real and authentic things. The message I would like to share with you is being real and authentic is a priceless midas, that brings meaning to everything you touch especially the most meaningless of things. In the end- When we die, the only thing That will 'matter' is the 'energy' we changed, moved, shared and consumed. May we all be blessed with the stimulus to evolve, love and be patient with everything that isn't us- even when that is us. 💝 As billions fly away in a week I hope many take a moment to consider the millions who die in a day.

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Born in the Bronx, New York, Moore’s background is a sad one, which is unfortunately not unique for a trans person of colour. At 16 they were sex trafficked in exchange for hormones – Moore tells Elle: “I didn’t understand what sex trafficking was at the time. The language I knew was that they were, basically, my pimps. I was just a kid.”

Growing up they bounced around foster homes, spent time in prison as well as an institution, and attempted suicide. Later Moore started working as a model, joined the House of Xtravaganza which eventually led to being cast in Pose.

What’s their style like?

2019 MET Museum Costume Institute Benefit Gala
Moore went to their first Met Gala last week in custom Louis Vuitton (Evan Agostini/AP)

Moore is not one to sleep on their fashion choices. Instead, they’ve proved themselves time and time again to be experimental and bold – who else would be brave enough to wear a see-through Iris van Herpen creation on the red carpet?

With a distinct style, it’s not just Calvin Klein who’s come knocking – Moore’s also got the call-up from other big brands like Louis Vuitton. In fact, they became the French fashion house’s first openly trans women of colour to model for the brand.

Moore’s beauty looks are just as strong,  often sporting a bold red lip or statement eyes, along with signature curls.

And what about the Calvin Klein campaign?

Last week Moore was announced as a new face of Calvin Klein’s I Speak My Truth campaign along with the likes of Kendall Jenner and A$AP Rocky, and now the video and images have been released. In a recent interview with Elle, Moore mentions that the pictures are topless with a subtle crotch bulge, and says: “I think that’s so important!”

Moore isn’t the only one who’s keen on the campaign – Miley Cyrus comments on one of the snaps: “I’m actually full on in love w u.”

Trans people – particularly trans people of colour – aren’t hugely visible in the media, so having famous face can do much to help the community. And it’s clear there’s a crisis with public attitudes towards trans people – in 2017/2018, the police recorded 1,651 transgender identity hate crimes, which is a 32% increase from the 2016/2017 period.

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Of course, campaigns like this one won’t necessarily end violence towards trans people. However, it can help shift public perceptions and make young trans people struggling with their identity feel less alone.

© Press Association 2019

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