Munroe Bergdoff is a British born model, DJ and actress who became the first transgender model to appear in a L’Oreal campaign in 2017.
Born: London, UK
Famous for: Model, DJ, Actress
Munroe Bergdorf grew up in Stansted Abbotts, Hertfordshire. She was born male with the name of Ian. In primary school she was obsessed with women magazines and used to steal her mum’s makeup. At the age of 15 Bergdorf came out as gay whilst still in school.
While studying English at Brighton University she started dressing up as a woman revelling in the city’s drag scene. At the age of 23 she decided to begin the slow process to transition into a woman biologically using medication her friends provided. At the age of 25 she was offered hormones by her doctor.
Munroe has DJ’d in Soho and has been a cornerstone of London’s trans scene. She was an active participant of the #FreedomTo campaign organised by Pride in London.
In 2009/2010 she started to work as a professional model. Fashion labels such as Ziad Ghanem, Boy London, Organic Pirate, MIMI.C and makeup brand Illamasqua have used her unique energy for their campaigns.
In August 2017 Munroe made history as the first transgender woman to appear in a L’Oréal Paris campaign in the UK. Shortly after she was fired for making comments on race and that white people were inherently racist from their upbringing. She went on to state “When I stated that ‘all white people are racist’, I was addressing that fact that western society as a whole, is a SYSTEM rooted in white supremacy – designed to benefit, prioritise and protect white people before anyone of any other race. Unknowingly, white people are SOCIALISED to be racist from birth onwards. It is not something genetic. No one is born racist,”. L’Oreal stated her comments were at odds with their values. The sacking of Bergdorf led to black model and DJ Clara Amfo quitting a L’Oreal campaign in solidarity.
In September 2017 British firm Illamasqua announced that Munroe Bergdorf would be the face of its new campaign based around gender fluidity. “Munroe embodies diversity and individualit,” Illamasqua said in a statement to the Guardian newspaper.
Bergdorf has starred in short dramas including Saw the Sunshine (2016), Fee (2017) and Headspace (2017).
Munroe create a documentary titled What Makes a Woman which aired on Channel 4 on May 16th 2018.
*Photo credits provided in references section below where possible. View a list of photographers here.