Source: Vanity Fair Italy
Lea by Karel Losenicky
client: Vanity Fair Italy
published: June 2010
Riccardo Tisci’s longtime assistant & former fit model; the reticent Lea (formerly Leandro) breaks her silence in an exclusive interview for Italian Vanity Fair. The Brazilian who lived as a child in Italy and went to art school in Florence (hence the perfect Italian) bravely goes on the record about her experiences.
According to the Guardian a Rio gossip column contacted Cerezo and reported, "We got in touch with the former star but, irritated, he limited himself to saying that he had four children, one of them called Leandro...When asked if the boy had starred in the Givenchy campaign, Cerezo hung up the phone." However, Lea's brother Gustavo said, "It's Lea's success, not the family's. All I will say is that we are on her side and we support her."
In the Vanity Fair interview, moreover, [Lea] said she "never spoke directly" to her father about undergoing the hormone treatment that will, eventually, give her the body of a woman. Conversation, she said, was limited to trivialities.
Lea has credited Tisci with her ability to be comfortable with herself. She remembered for French Vogue, "One night [Tisci] encouraged me to wear pumps to a party. We went shopping for 'drag queen' shoes and we bleached my eyebrows. It was a revelation."
ABC News reports that Lea is set to undergo a full sex change from male to female and is currently undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Lea told June's Italian Vanity Fair, "The choice is between being unhappy forever or trying to be happy." (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/03/lea-t-transsexual-model-t_n_669027.html)
Lea T lands on the cover of Lurve with a stunning black and white shot by Carlotta Manaigo. The couture dress and marble columns add to the feeling of classical drama, but Lea brings a presence all her own to the shoot. Clad in Givenchy (naturally) and styled by Maher Jridi, Lea looks phenomenal and the striking cover makes for another boundary breaking first. (http://models.com/feed/?p=14337)