America's Next Top Model finalist Cory Wade will be taking Queer Fashion Week's runway as one of the celebrity models.
Wade, who dropped his last name Hindorff recently, will be joined by celebrity model [name], who also recently signed on to walk the QFW catwalk.
On the 20th edition of ANTM, Wade took the show's host Tyra Banks and crew by storm as one of the first openly gay models. He caused such a stir they asked him back as a guest on the 21 edition.
Now the 24-year-old biracial model will be dazzling audiences at the first-ever Queer Fashion Week, April 16 - 19 in Oakland, California.
QFW producer Christine De La Rosa said "Featuring celebrity models alongside seasoned and newly minted models is at the core of Queer Fashion Week. I wanted to have every level of experience showcased not only in the models but also in the designers. I believe we are at our best when we are able to break the glass ceiling and bring everyone else with us. Cory is one of those ceiling breakers and a role model to many in the LGBTQ community. I am thrilled and honored that he is participating in the inaugural year of QFW."
The biracial openly gay model from Philadelphia is excited, proud, and a little bit "pissed off" that there hasn't been a fashion week highlighting LGBT designers and models before now, he said.
At the same time, he believes Queer Fashion Week is a part of a revolution and might even push the boundaries toward change in the fashion industry as Banks wanted him to do on the show. As Wade learned on the show fashion isn't as all-inclusive and queer-friendly as it is assumed to be, but it showed him "where we actually are as far as fashion is concerned and some of the hurdles that we still have to overcome," he said.
That's changing though. He feels that Queer Fashion Week could shake up the fashion world as a part of revolutionary change that's on the verge of reshaping fashion.
"It's important that we emphasize that it isn't important how we classify ourselves sexually, [but by] just showing everyone that we are just as good and just as qualified to be those household names," said Wade, who is excited to be "on the forefront of the fashion industry really breaking boundaries ... starting a movement that is all-inclusive."
"This could potentially change the fashion industry in a very, very positive way," he added.
Reflecting on Banks and his experience on the show, "It seemed like she was always in my corner and really wanted me to push the envelope and always wanted me to be that model to like break that boundary in the industry," said Wade, noting that "a few of the other judges couldn't stop harping on my femininity."
Currently, Wade's experience flipping through the pages of magazines all he sees is the hunky all-American men and the fashions they model don't exactly fit his style sensibility.
"As a gay man, when I flip through magazines and I see that all-American muscle bound male over and over the first thing I think is, 'Oh, I can never wear that,'" he said.
Wade believes he's not alone in wanting to see models who reflect back to him or themselves rather than "the same carbon copy guy just over and over again," he said.
Sure there are a few transgender models making a name for themselves on the runways and appearing in mainstream fashion magazines, even taking a few covers away from the usual celebrities and supermodels, but he challenged, does anyone know these model's names?
"You know that they are there, but you can't name names because they aren't famous," said Wade.
Part of the problem is that LGBT people in the fashion industry have made names for themselves behind the scenes as designers, makeup artists, and stylists, but not on the catwalk.
Not to say that designers have it easy. Wade pointed out that he was aware that there were designers designing for the people rather than the runways and fashion magazines, but there is also a huge fear to go all out to create androgynous styles or designs for different body types. It wasn't clear if there was a market.
"I think that we are at a place now where there are so many people who want to explore different facets of themselves [that] now that there is a market for designers who want to go that route," said Wade, who hopes the fear to create different lines of clothing fades as people buy and start seeing them in the pages of magazines.
It starts with Queer Fashion Week.
"Something like this, it just makes it I feel like it's going to give a lot of people hope. Like they are going to see that there are so many different walks of life and they are all beautiful," said Wade. "It could really change this whole experience. It could really change the whole fashion industry in a very positive way."
For tickets, visit www.qfw.eventbrite.com.
From our media partner EDGE