The Wit and Wordplay of Willie Norris

But Norris’ presence in Outlier, regardless of the brand’s output, is crucial. “Let’s be honest; nothing like me has ever existed in fashion,” she said when our second round of drinks arrived. She’s not wrong: transgender representation in fashion is still sparse. It was only in the fall of 2019 when No Sesso’s chief designer, Pierre Davis, made history as the first transgender woman to present a collection on the official New York Fashion Week calendar. (although other transgender and extraordinary designers have performed off-schedule in previous seasons).

Norris told me all this with her hands and took extra time between words to pronounce the vowels. There is an intensity to the rhythm of our conversation. We rarely talked to each other or were watched around, and she wanted me to know that she was serious about building a legacy in a fickle business. “Fashion finds someone, and they provide exposure, but they don’t provide anything else to sustain a career. So when I started I just believed in the fact that I had enough. the integrity and strength to do this for the rest of my life… that recognition became my freedom,” she explains.

Norris’ professional journey is also highly personal. During the pandemic and after breaking up with her first live-in boyfriend, she started speaking out more about her transgender identity. “I remember I posted a Reddit post [at Outlier]. I said, ‘Hey guys, I designed your clothes for you Exception, And you know, I’m a transgender woman. My pronouns are She/She, but please, whenever possible, call me Willie. ‘ That’s all I want and it’s all I ask for,” she explains. The conversations are neither linear nor easy, but they are essential.” It’s really stressful to reintroduce yourself,” she said. “There’s a lot of emotional labor when you have to have these conversations. I just always like [saying] “Call me Willie,” because I identify deeply as a woman, but if you say, Willie, I feel very grounded. “

https://www.gq.com/story/gq-hype-willie-norris The Wit and Wordplay of Willie Norris

Russell Falcon

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