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[UPDATED] Rye Silverman Is Modcloth’s First Trans Model, Has Dress Named After Her, Is Basically Just Awesome

"I still look male to most people [but I'm wearing] the clothes that I want to wear."

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Update as of 4/10/2015: Silverman has not been officially hired as a Modcloth model, as she has made clear in this tweet. The article below has been altered to reflect this. So, she’s not a full-time model, but this is still pretty cool! Carry on.

Having been featured on Modcloth’s Style Gallery community blog and being a Modcloth #FashionTruth spotlight on their main blog, comedian Rye Silverman is Modcloth’s first transgender model.

Modcloth has always been a go-to fashion destination for women looking for alternatives to the usually limiting options presented by mainstream women’s fashion outlets. In an open letter on the Modcloth site, co-founder Susan Koger talks about the ethos behind Modcloth and their #FashionTruth campaign:

The message we hear time and again is that only “aspirational” imagery sells, and over time, the industry has converged on a very narrow definition of the word. A definition that makes many women and girls feel like they are not and cannot ever be good enough. But the industry hasn’t always been this way, and it doesn’t have to be this way today. ModCloth even recently conducted a third party survey that found that nearly two-thirds of women report “having more loyalty to a brand that celebrates beauty in all shapes and sizes.”

There’s a rising outcry online, in blogs and in social media, of people questioning the status-quo and begging for a change. Is anyone listening? Sure, occasionally we see “real body” layouts, but then it’s back to business as usual. I think now is the time for real change.

Modcloth pledges to use diverse models, create clothing in more sizes, and to listen to their community, and that’s exactly what they’ve done with Silverman, even working with her to create a super-cute dress named after her, called the “All About Rye.”

Silverman came out as transgender five years ago and started expressing who she was via kilts and skirts with tartan/plaid patterns, which is why that look is incorporated into the “All About Rye” dress. As she tells Stylelite in a recent interview:

In general, I really like plaid I think because of the Celtic thing. It’s hard not to love tartan colors and tartan designs. When I first came out, before embracing my trans identity, I wore a lot of kilts and skirts that had plaid to them, so it fit my personal history and vibe, and I liked that. I liked that the dress had pockets. Whenever I see a dress with pockets, immediately it gets me a little excited. […] It was little baby steps to embracing my full identity because you’re wearing this thing that immediately draws attention, and a lot of that attention isn’t the most positive, so it was about learning to own it and rock it. Those were good baby steps.

However, while she’s now doing the modeling thing, her first career is as a comedian. Silverman has a comedy album called Intimate Apparel dropping on April 28th, which you can find out more about at her blog, Chick Like Me. Between her comedy and her unique position and insights influencing fashion for a broader range of women, Silverman is an amazing example of how one woman can make a huge difference in the lives of others.

(via Styleite and The Hollywood Reporter; Images via Modcloth)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.