If you follow fashion, you’ve seen Casil McArthur before. He just walked in the Coach Fall 2017 Menswear runway show. Though he’s been a model since the tender age of 10, this was the first catwalk he walked as a male. Fashion is often known as an industry of acceptance, and McArthur’s story is no different.
He started modeling as Dani Rose, but after transitioning, he maintained his prominent position in the fashion world. At 17 years old, he’s signed with Soul Artist Management and worked with legendary photographer Steven Meisel.
To some, he might just seem like the next big thing in fashion. But his impact goes far beyond the runway and the camera. Whether he wanted to or not, he’s become a role model for the trans community.
He told Vogue, “I never thought modeling would be something so impacting for people. The feedback I have been getting has been unreal. It definitely makes me want to strive to be better every single day. Someone needs to be there to support these kids.”
McArthur grew up in Estes Park, Colorado, a small town in which he was always free to be himself. Now, he’s treating the world the same way, embracing his true self before a global audience.
For the young model, the most challenging part of his transition wasn’t acceptance. He told W that he laid out his intentions and his agents got behind him 100%. The biggest challenge was learning the modeling business from a new perspective.
He had to learn how to pose differently and start shaking hands at work. When he looked at the athletic physiques of the other men at his agency, he felt inadequate. But he’s overcome his fears and challenges to make a big splash in the industry.
His long-term goal is to become a supermodel. It’s a goal that’s less attainable, not because of his transition, but due to the positioning of male models in general. They tend to have shorter lifespans in front of the camera and on the runway. Fashion tends to be a woman’s game. McArthur isn’t worried.
He also told W, “I don’t see how that can’t possibly happen. I think I have all of the tools to help ensure I have a long career.”
At 17, he fully embraces his role as an advocate and public face for the trans community. But he’s also still a normal kid who has to work and go to school when he’s back at home. He’s even a fan of Star Trek and Star Wars.
Though his life probably won’t be normal for long. In September, he told Daily Mail that he was booking more high-profile gigs as a man. These included stints with Calvin Klein and Saint Laurent as well as a 16-page spread in W. His newfound success is inspiring to those who are hoping to follow his path.