News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 p.m.

LA's first transgender modeling agency set to open




Cecilio Asuncion, center, and the models of Apple Model Management, LA's first agency serving transgender people.
Cecilio Asuncion, center, and the models of Apple Model Management, LA's first agency serving transgender people.
Sri Sherrell

Listen to story

07:31
Extra Audio:
Download this story 3MB

The first modeling agency catering to transgender men and women is opening its doors in Los Angeles.

Apple Model Management first set up shop in Bangkok in 2002, serving cisgender adults and kids, or people who agree that they are the gender they were born as. In 2014, the agency began to take on transgender people. Those models soon appeared in fashion shows and commercial ads.

Soon after, the agency decided to expand to Los Angeles, and to focus solely on transgender men and women. Cecilio Asuncion, director of Apple Model Management in L.A., said the goal is to eliminate the need to advertise their models as transgender.    

"Because the thing is, what we're really, really excited for, is for training these women, these transgender women, to be the best possible model they can be, and achieve supermodel status," said Asuncion.

As with any modeling agency, there are requirements potential talent must meet. The agency scouts women who are 5 feet 8 inches tall and above, and men who are 6 feet and above. Asuncion says it all stems from the need to be competitive with other agencies, but there are other necessary elements that outweigh looks. 

"You need to have a good, good support system," he said. "Because I think whether [you're] a cisgender model or a transgender model, you basically get picked apart ... And that's what's important, you need to have a good support system, because it's not easy."

Anyone who is interested in learning more about modeling for Apple Model Management can email Cecilio Asuncion: Cecilio@applemodels.com.