the 16-year-old trans model who opened for margiela

Meet Finn Buchanan, spring/summer 19’s breakout face.

by Steve Salter
26 December 2018, 8:00am

This article originally appeared in i-D's The Superstar Issue, no. 354, Winter 2018

12 months after being scouted outside Sainsbury’s in Finsbury Park, 16-year-old north London-based trans model Finn Buchanan established himself as spring/summer 19’s breakout face. He opened John Galliano’s binary-blurring, artisanal-inspired Margiela ready-to-wear show, walked Miu Miu’s deconstruction of beauty, played out Marc Jacobs’s fashion fantasy and donned a Coach-logo buzzcut for Matty Bovan. “It’s only been six months since my first job, and I’ve just opened a show for Maison Margiela and walked for Miu Miu a second time,” Finn says. “Walking these shows and being able to be a part of fashion week are such huge achievements for me – it shows me that I’m doing what I should be doing.”

“I’ve always been labelled as genderfluid, genderless, agender, that’s always been my given identity but my name is Finn for a reason. My best friend in primary school died of leukaemia and that was his name. When I felt pressure to choose a ‘boy name’ I wanted one that meant something to me. I’m trying to live in a way that he’d be proud of.” It is this kind of fearless attitude that made Finn the ideal posterboy for John Galliano, who, inspired by today’s Generation Z world where “there are no rules – you write the book”, presented a transformative Margiela show for the fearless non-conformers. Being who you are is an act of defiance.

“There are so many written rules, in school and beyond, but there are so many unwritten rules and labels across society too,” Finn explains. “Like, boys have short hair, girls have long hair... Fuck that. What is a boy, what is a girl? It’s stuff that is embedded into your everyday. If it’s embedded into our parents generation, then it’s passed down to us, unless we question it.” Finn continually questions it. These are questions Finn’s asked throughout adolescence and he’s found his own answers. “This generation are rebelling against their parents and not in a ‘Fuck you mum way’, but with a desire to raise our kids differently. This generation are going to raise a good bunch of kids.” While Finn’s balancing life on the runway with school, his focus is fixed on creating a better tomorrow. “The ultimate goal is to start a charity or fund that educates kids about the abuse they’ve suffered. I’ve been there and you’re scared to ask questions. The ambition is to create a safe space.”

First the catwalk, then the world.

finn buchanan photographed by felicity-ingram
Finn wears jumper Frenn Helsinki. Jewellery Ekria.


Photography Felicity Ingram
Styling PC Williams

Hair Anna Cofone at The Wall Group using Less is More from Barnholdts. Make-up Marie Bruce at Eighteen Management using Marc Jacobs Beauty.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

maison margiela
felicity ingram
finn buchanan