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

Ucluelet resident sounds alarm over ‘environmental disaster’

Central Westcoast Forest Society estimates bridge project at Hyphocus Island could cost $1M.

Senior A Basketball: Maaqtusiis senior teams take on the Island Championships

Senior girls play at Duncan Christian and senior boys at Nanaimo Christian this weekend.

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations councillor says ‘Hereditary chiefs have the ultimate power’

Ahousaht future hereditary chief Jaiden George explains Indigenous governance.

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Most Read