The Trans Activist Who Closed Gypsy Sport Talks Witchy Wellness and Pink Hair.

What is the 2018 alternative to the traditional nuclear family? Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport has a particularly compelling answer. Backstage at the label’s fall show, the Clermont twins—fresh off Yeezy’s viral Kim-clone Instagram drop—smiled into passing cameras as curling irons twirled around their mile-long platinum hair. Across the room, 10-year-old Desmond Napoles, the wunderkind drag kid, sat for a black-and-white manicure. Lanky guys with beaded dreads, buzz-cut women with tattoos, a model nursing her weeks-old infant: The scene felt like a rollicking, warm-hearted reunion—never mind if half the cast was scouted at a party on Monday. For the trans activist Munroe Bergdorf, who closed the show in an ombré pink wig, her catwalk debut took on special meaning in such company. “To walk for a brand like Gypsy Sport, who is completely along the same lines as my politics and all about empowerment and redefining beauty—that’s what I’m about.”

Only it wasn’t just her catwalk debut: Three weeks ago, the Londoner underwent facial feminization surgery, and her trip to New York has been a back-to-back marathon of first-look photo shoots and appearances. When she revealed the news to her Instagram followers five days ago (12,000 likes and counting), she posted an earnest message about the “weight that has been lifted” following a long struggle with gender dysmorphia. “Now for the next chapter.” And how better to turn the page than with show-stopping hair?

“I debuted my new look with the pink [wig] because I wanted something fun,” Bergdorf explained, minutes after hairstylist Laurent Philippon gently coaxed the front pieces into face-framing wings. She paid a visit to Edmund Bossman’s studio in London’s Walthamstow neighborhood, where “it’s just wigs and wigs and wigs on the wall. He does Stefflon Don, Ms. Banks—all the rap girls and black female celebrities go to him,” Bergdorf said, explaining an initial plan to go platinum. That is, until she saw her. “The wig—I refer to her as her, like she’s an extension of me,” she said with a laugh. “It’s a bit much, but it’s just enough. Go big or go home, you know?”

That telegraphed confidence has been hard won, Bergdorf confessed, describing how she has overcome early struggles with an eating disorder and depression. While therapy has been instrumental in her self-discovery—”I don’t feel like you can be yourself until you understand how you got to where you are”—she is just as quick to credit her own idiosyncratic strategies. “I’ll show you something funny,” she teased, pulling a hunk of rose-quartz out of her pocket, an uncanny match to her blush-pink nails and hair. “Before I left London, I put crystals in every single one of my outfits,” she said, detailing a rotation that includes labradorite, fluorite, and selenite—”the ones that really help me in transitional periods and elevate my spirit. The whole witchy vibe is what I’m all about.”

It was certainly the vibe backstage at Gypsy Sport, where an angels-and-demons theme played out in the Victoriana-tinged collection accented with white lace and ruffled collars, body-cage jewelry, and loads of shimmering black lipstick. Today’s full-tilt makeup is not Bergdorf’s usual look, she pointed out. Instead, she dials it down with MAC’s Studio Fix foundation, which wears featherlight but tames her oily skin (a feature she chalks up to her mixed-race background: Jamaican dad, white-European mom); a “nice fluffy lash” and winged liner; and a nude-toned gloss. “I’m all about that just-been-kissed lip,” she added. And she’s serious about skin care, touting brands like Cowshed and Glamglow: “I’m a face-mask freak.”

Bergdorf’s complexion care is only part of her daily routine. “I’ve got an altar in my bedroom, which is dedicated to my wellness and my mental health,” she explained of her long search to find well-being strategies that resonate. That includes lighting palo santo every morning and night “to help me turn off”; herbal teas, blended with valerian root or lavender, ease her off to sleep. She dabs on protection-from-harm oil (procured from “any witchy shop”) and dabbles in the study of witchcraft and voodoo. “I love ritual and certainty—having some sort of grasp on the situation,” she said, offering up her own manifestation technique: If you ask something from the universe, promise to give something back, like charity hours to an organization like Mermaids, which looks after transgender young people. With many good things coming Bergdorf’s way—including London Fashion Week shows, video spotlights, and glossy print coverage—she’ll have plenty of reason to pay it forward.

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