Lea T: 'I want to give a positive message to everyone'
Lea T is proud to be a voice of change in the modelling industry.
The transgender model, real name Leandra Medeiros Cerezo, was born in Brazil and grew up in Italy.
Lea's modelling career took off after Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci spotted her in late 2010, after which she went on to feature in editorials for Vogue Paris, Interview Magazine and Love Magazine.
While the 35-year-old never imagined she would be a model when she was growing up, she is now happy to be changing the face of fashion and is keen to inspire further diversity in the industry.
"I am very flattered if people see me that way, but I do what makes me feel good and other people find that to be aesthetically pleasing, then I am happy to be an inspiration," she told Britain's Look magazine. "Through my job I've been trying to give a positive message to everyone."
In 2014, she became the face of American hair-care brand Redken, making her the first openly transgender model to front a global cosmetics brand. Lea happily admits Redken's "brave" decision signalled a major turning point in her career.
"I felt that I finally made it.... I feel so touched that such an amazing brand chose me to be their new face. Redken is iconic, and being the face of it is an honour and a responsibility at the same time," she smiled.
The raven-haired beauty swears by Redken's new Frizz Dismiss shampoo and conditioner and likes to use Redken Diamond Oil spray for a little extra shine. Lea also likes to experiment with her look, and had red hair for a period recently, though she is happy to be back to her natural colour.
"I think hair is one of the things people can change to match their mood and make them feel original," she shared.