Canadian YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous on how transitioning transformed her style

Gorgeous says she came out as transgender in a journey that was closely followed by millions of viewers

Looking back through her video archive, YouTube star Gigi Lazzarato can track how her style has transformed as she transitioned into her true self.

Better known as Gigi Gorgeous, the Canadian online personality and model says when she came out as transgender in a journey that was closely followed by millions of viewers, she gravitated towards ultra-feminine attire — skin-tight dresses and bright colours — because she thought that was the “suit” that made you a woman.

Now, Lazzarato fashions herself a “chameleon,” and said her shifting style will be on full display in a photo series launching at Toronto Fashion Week.

Produced by culture-focused content platform XPosed, “Icon in the Making” transports the modern-day influencer to the 1960s in a series shot by noted Toronto fashion photographer Chris Nicholls under the creative direction of George Antonopoulos and Glenna Weddle.

Lazzarato, who grew up just west of Toronto in Mississauga, Ont., said she can barely recognize herself in the shots, and she can’t wait for them to be revealed to her friends and family at a Yorkville exhibit on Wednesday. The photos will also be featured in XPosed and Fashion magazine’s October issues.

The L.A.-based 27-year-old spoke to The Canadian Press by phone last week about how the fashion shoot fits into her personal and public transformation.

CP: Why is this series called “Icon in the Making”?

Lazzarato: We were referencing a lot of photos of like Bridget Bardot and Sophia Loren, and all of the iconic poses and women back then. So I think it’s ‘Icon in the Making’ because I’m still alive doing my career, embodying them from back then.

CP: The series is billed as being inspired by your personal journey. How is that?

Lazzarato: I think if we’re talking transition and transforming into something that you’re not comfortable with, or that you’re really experimenting with, it definitely was a transformational day for me, because it’s looks that I’ve never done before.

CP: What was it like transitioning in the public eye?

Lazzarato: At the beginning, a lot of my friends and a lot of my family knew I was transgender and that I was going to take steps to become the woman that I felt I was and that I felt inside. But the reason that I made it so public was because of all the comments and stories I’d heard prior. I was online for years before that, and when I came out I was just like, you know what, I know these people have my back.

The hard side of it all is when you feel pressure like you have to share when you’re not necessarily ready … There’s just certain aspects where I don’t want to talk about my family or my friends, because they didn’t really sign up for this. But it’s like sometimes you have to.

CP: As a very visible transwoman who comes from a fair bit of financial privilege, do you feel that influences your role in the LGBTQ community?

Lazzarato: I think the financial (aspect) really has nothing to do with it. Because growing up, I was always striving and I was always making work for myself, whether that was when I was 15 working at McDonald’s or volunteering … I was never showered in gifts or like here’s cash, here’s money.

The only thing that I feel like I’ve been really, really, really, really, really blessed with when it comes to my family is their unconditional love. Because for me, I’ve seen so many horror stories of people being disowned or parents just not getting it.

CP: The photo series is set in the past. Do you think you’re changing the future?

Lazzarato: I can only hope so. I think that that’s like one of my biggest things, that I’ve been put on this earth and I want to leave it with a bang, and I want to leave this planet a better place than (when) I entered it.

— This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No ‘harmonious solution’ dogs on beaches in Saanich, community-led study finds

Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association present findings to council Sept. 28

B.C. Greens introduce all-women slate for Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay ridings

School trustee Nicole Duncan assumes Oak Bay-Gordon Head candidacy

Long-time Central Saanich councillor named NDP candidate for Saanich North and the Islands

King, who joins election campaign one week after its start, hopes to unseat Adam Olsen

VicPD explains why calls for service can’t be compared to years before 2019

Department launches Open VicPD, new platform in aim to be transparent

Worklink march in Langford supports Orange Shirt Day

Ahousaht Prayer Song sets the tone

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Most Read