Interview by Jina Khayyer
I’ve had a very interesting life story and a very interesting journey, through more than one gender (laughs), I was born physically a boy but with the heart, mind, soul and will of woman.
Obviously, I spent a decent portion of my life, living in a boy’s world and having to live up to certain traditionally more masculine standards. I then had a very long phase of androgyny, which was also the beginning of my modelling career and that was sort of an experience of living in-between. People like to think of men and women as two different species, and I don’t think that men and women are two different species, I don’t think they’re even cats and dogs. I think that they are two opposite poles of the same hole. It’s just ying & yang.
I’ve spent a good portion of my career modelling both menswear and womenswear, and thinking nothing of it, and it was in 2010 when I first started doing runways. Then fashion was, I would say pretty divided along menswear and womenswear. So, it was this moment and the media found my career very interesting and people felt it was the beginning of something new. So, I found um… I found it very interesting, I found great courage at being able to morph into either one. Obviously, I had personal things I needed to complete – medical things I needed to complete to fully realise my power, and realise my comfort, and I transitioned and now live fully as a woman.
But what does it even mean to live fully as a woman, and what does it mean to live fully as a man. And this is something I’ve had from a very young age and something, I needed to do to feel comfortable but I don’t want to break all the rules of gender to become what I am and then be locked into this version of what it means to be a woman. Because I think that is quite limiting and oppressing. So, that is where Zilver comes in because, you know, a girl can wear men’s jeans and be beautiful, and a boy can wear girl’s jeans and also be beautiful. I think beauty transcends gender, and transcends all borders and all nationalities and all of these different things that try and limit us and try and divide us.
I think clothes can be a powerful tool in helping you gain power. I don’t want to be a servant to clothes, I think clothes should serve the human being. I think they should empower the human being and allow you to be more free. For me freedom is walking into a room, and not feeling you would be judged by anyone, and not caring – what they may think of you and not caring what their prejudices may be. Everyone is at a different point of life and everyone is learning at the end of the day. I think clothes have that power, they have that power to give you the confidence. I think that part of that and certainly that is what it has been for me. I think that everyone can really learn from that. You want to honour the masculine and feminine energies in your existence and in your body, and in your soul. I think that Zilver speaks to that, I think that we are living in a completely modern age with completely modern technology, the world is connected now more than ever, yet there’s still these very archaic and very traditional social constructs that we still as a society have not been able to overcome and I think that you have to keep fighting against that – in whatever you do. You have to be an anti-establishment figure. If you want to look good, and you know, wear the right clothes, and go to a protest, you can wear Zilver (laughs).
I think we need to bridge the gap between boy and girl, and we need clothes that speak to a whole new generation of young people who don’t want to be constricted, don’t want to add more pressures to their lives, don’t want to add more laws and rules to their lives, because we live in a society that is very oppressive, so why should we limit our style and our fashion sense.