The annual Slay Model search remains one of the most sought after castings every year in the modeling world, and for one consistent reason; they are discovering transgender supermodels and propelling them to superstardom. Slay Models have appeared in campaigns for Vogue Germany, Macy’s and Savage X Fenty and appeared on shows like Pose and Law and Order: SVU. This year’s winner of the Slay Model search grabs a spot in a M·A·C Campaign, a trip to London to shoot a Carmen Liu Lingerie campaign, a Colors of Love ring as well as a social media campaign from Faberge’, shoes from Lidia Talavera, along with a year contract with Slay Model Management.
With so much on the line, having support is paramount, and the new Here-TV docu-series Road to the Runway looks behind the beauty of these stunning models. Cameras will be following them directly to their hometowns to take a look at their own roots and what shaped them into the statuesque young women that they have become. A visit to Texas introduces us to Mylia James, who while having extremely conservative roots, has ultra-supportive parents who travel with her for everything from photo shoots to modeling opportunities in Los Angeles. Wisconsin’s Ayden Yee is of Chinese descent, and part of a culture where sons are traditionally thought of as more valuable. That fact makes it particularly moving when the Yee family demonstrating their own acceptance of Ayden is captured on camera.
GLAAD-award winner (and Slay Model management founder) Cecilio Asuncion is quick to point out that Road to the Runway is not “selling transness”. Asuncion says “It is a fashion model agency and we are selling a young woman’s capability to represent a brand or a designer.” It takes more than beauty to be a bookable model. It takes determination, grit, and a visceral understanding that the woman is a model first, and Trans second. “As is often the case in model competitions, the real challenge is an internal one,” Asuncion says. “It used to be that women reshaped themselves to fit the industry standard; striving to match the idealized version of a Barbie doll. Today’s fashion industry wants to see the real, unfiltered woman beneath the lashes and lipstick”.
Follow Slay Model Management on Instagram
‘Road to the Runway’ premieres August 5th on Here-TV