No one knows what the body can do. -Spinoza

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Iconic Photo: Photo 25

Valentijn de Hingh
circa 2011

21-year old Dutch model Valentijn de Hingh has walked in shows for the likes of Maison Martin Margiela, Commes des Garcons, and been featured in editorials for VOGUE ITALIA and shot by Patrick Demarchelier. Her modeling career started at 17 with great success but after a growth spurt that put her at 6'1" she was, briefly, considered too tall to model. Compared to the likes of other current it models such as Lea T. and Andrej Pejic, de Hingh's career again finds itself taking off.

During her brief slowdown in the fashion world, de Hingh used her extra time off the catwalk to study literature at the University of Amsterdam and work at booking models for extra money on the side.

Though not super well-known, de Hingh's star has recently begun to shine brightly as she finds herself walking for major designers and appearing in the world's top fashion magazines.

de Hingh's story in the public spotlight begins even younger. She was the featured subject of a 2007 Dutch documentary, filmed by Hetty Niesch. Niesch discover de Hingh when she was being raised as an 8-year old boy in Amsterdam. With de Hingh already exhibiting transgender practices Niesch became interested in following de Hingh's development and as a result followed de Hingh's life through film from the age of 8 through 17. At 17 de Hingh underwent gender reassignment surgery. Immediately after the film was released on Dutch television. Upon seeing it de Hingh said she was very happy with how it was able to explore the challenges and decisions in the daily and on going life of transgender youth, and that she was glad to be able to help raise awareness of these realities.

The world of fashion currently considers de Hingh to be a beautiful, angular and willowy focus for the industry. She stands as an inspiring example of someone that has helped bring awareness to a unique position through her appearance in Niesch's documentary on transgender youth, and at the same time as someone that has succeeded in the fashion industry irregardless of her currently-unusual background.

To see more of Valentijn de Hingh check out Vogue Italia's video interview of her here: VOGUE ITALIA

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