Glass meets rising model Krow

The power of connection – Glass meets rising model Krow, to discuss cosplay, his upcoming documentary, and becoming a voice for trans-models in the industry

It is pretty difficult to believe that Krow has only been modelling as Krow for just over a year. His face is everywhere, from the catwalks of Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen to gracing several magazine covers in 2019, and the 23-year old has been working non-stop since his debut as an out trans-male model. (He tells me he hasn’t been home for more than two weeks over the past year.)

But it’s also important to remember that Krow isn’t a newcomer to the industry. At the age of 13, pre-transition, the model was scouted in his Canadian hometown and was quick to make a name modelling womenswear. While this might seem like a strange path to take for a closeted trans-man, Krow explains that modelling at such a young age actually taught him how to act feminine, and that this is something he now embraces and can use to his advantage as a male model.

Now using his voice to speak up for trans-visibility in the industry, Krow is even releasing a documentary, Krow’s TRANSformation. The documentary, released in Canada in November this year, takes an unfiltered look at his transition, beginning at the very start of his journey, putting a camera to hormone therapy, to first gender-affirming surgeries, as well as his rising career along the way. Krow later tells me the film will also be shown in schools as a way to educate children on what it means to be transgender, hoping to break down misconceptions and stigma for people at an early age.

Aside from modelling, Krow hones a list of passions, from cosplay to acting and singing. With a strong love for performance and the entertainment industry, Krow is also planning to expand his career, setting his sights on becoming an actor and singer. But the model promises me he won’t ever give up modelling, hoping to one day be able to find a happy balance between the three.

Krow. Photograph: James Anastasi

You’ve really made your mark on the modelling scene, walking for so many iconic fashion houses including Louis Vuitton. What would you say are the most memorable shows you’ve done so far?

I think my most memorable show was probably the cruise show that I did over in New York. And it was just such an amazing production that Louis Vuitton put on, with the whole runway, all the outfits that were together, the music – it was just everything that was put together was just such an incredible experience to be part of. I think that’s the show that really blew me away.

You’ve also made a documentary, which is releasing in Canada this November – congratulations! Can you tell me what motivated you to want to make this documentary? I understand it initially began as just a photoshoot, yes?

Yeah, originally it started out as a photoshoot, but then the producer that was going to be setting up the photoshoot said, “You know what? What if we made a documentary about your transition? Because there’s not a lot of movies or documentaries out there that show the process of going through the transition.” And at first, I was a bit hesitant because once you’re out as a trans man that’s all you’re really known for – versus just being another man in everyday life.

But the need for a documentary to kind of give people information, that was really needed. I thought that making a documentary and saving the lives of people who don’t really know that there are other choices – that you don’t have to just be stuck in a body that you don’t agree with – I thought that was much more important than having a bit of discomfort in public.

Krow. Photograph: James Anastasi

What was it like being followed around? Because your transition is such an intimate thing to be filmed, to be followed around by cameras, I can imagine, would be quite difficult. Would you agree?

At first it was more just weird, trying to get used to having the camera on me all the time like that. But luckily, because I do background work for the film industry, I’m used to being in front of the camera, because that was part of my job. I was able to adjust to the lifestyle pretty quickly. And after we got past that kind of awkward first stage of figuring out how to be comfortable in front of the camera and doing, like, the interview questions to figure out how I was feeling and what I was feeling, to find the best way to explain what I was going through, then the rest of the documentary and filming went fairly smoothly.

You’ve said that you first got into modelling because it was the most feminine thing you can do, and it taught you how to be feminine. How do you feel that modelling post-transition has changed the way you model? Is it very different?

Oh, absolutely. I’d say definitely very different. There are still some similarities, of course. But I think that the cool thing is that, because I am very comfortable being a feminine man, I can express both sides of gender through the way that I pose or do my walk or expressions, and things like that. It was like a certain type of grace that I like to hold for myself. It’s definitely interesting, being able to bring the other side into the male modelling and to find the balance between that.

Krow. Photograph: James Anastasi

A lot of the media has described you as the first trans-male modelling star. Would you say that you’re a spokesperson for trans male visibility in the fashion world?

At this point, absolutely, because I’ve done so many interviews that not necessarily a lot of them had the chance to do, but I have the chance to talk about the kind of issues that go on with trans visibility and the lack thereof, for both genders. But definitely more so for trans males, because there’s such a lack of visibility for people like me. I’d definitely say that I’ve become a spokesperson throughout the year.

I know that education is really important to you, and you said that you want the documentary to be shown in schools.

Yes, the first agreement for the documentary was that if it is going to be filmed, it needs to be put into schools across the country and hopefully across the world, so that when kids go through puberty and they’re having that sex education class that teaches them how the body is changing and what they’re going to go through, and all that kind of stuff – that this documentary can be something that the teachers can show to the class. So that it can normalise being trans. It can educate kids so that whether they feel like they want to go through a transition, or that they have a friend or family member that’s going through a transition, that they can understand those people better.

Outside modelling, I know that you’re an avid cosplayer. Can you tell me more about that? How did you get into it?

I got into cosplay when I was about 16 and one of my friends was the one who introduced me to it. And one of the big things was that, when I got into the cosplay community and I went to my first convention, the group that I got to know, a lot of the people, they were actually in various stages of transitioning. Whether it was after the surgeries, or whether it was going through the hormones, or even before the hormones. That kind of introduced me to understanding that there are trans-males and that it’s possible to transition from female to male.

That was a really big thing for me, having that community where I could connect to people on a subject that I was too afraid to bring up with anyone else. And then through that, because with cosplay you can dress up as any character you like, it’s just about expressing yourself through the character and portraying someone that you really are inspired by – that gave me the ability to dress up as a man and be presented as a man and see how I felt in the community and the outside world.

And it was a really big step for me to get the confidence to be like, “You know what? I really connect with being a man. This is who I feel I have always been,” and it gave me that freedom to not be judged within that community.

Krow. Photograph: James Anastasi

Would you ever consider taking a break from modelling?

Probably not at this point in time. But in the future my dream is to be a singer, so obviously when I have that career going on then I will be making a balance between modelling, singing, and probably acting at that point. But right now, my focus is definitely modelling.

Can you tell me a bit more about the singing? What kind of music are you in terms of performance and writing?

For me, I’ve always done kind of sad, melancholy music. I started out playing on the piano, but now I play sad ukulele. But yeah, it’s always been my dream since I was, I think, probably five years old, singing to Backstreet Boys. I don’t even need to be a super-famous singer that has music on the radio. I mean, it would be cool to have my songs on the radio, but for me it’s more about expressing myself and sharing that with people who can connect to that and really feel that connection through the music.

Krow. Photograph: James Anastasi

It seems like you’ve got a real passion for performance over everything, from cosplay to modelling, acting, singing, everything in terms of performance. What kind of acting would you be interested in getting into? And do you think there’s a crossover between modelling and acting?

Oh, absolutely. Because to be a good model you have to be able to portray the emotions that the photographer or the client wants to have you show about their look, their clothing, or just the mood of the shoot. In that way you have to be an actor even if you’re not saying the words; you still have to show it through your expression, through your body movement. I think that definitely ties in very well with acting.

There are definitely not many people that can do both, because when you’re moving in front of the camera saying words, if your voice doesn’t portray how you’re feeling or how you should be feeling for the character, then you can fall flat. But if you know how to do that well, then you can really show that difference and I think that’s really cool.

by Emma Hart

Find Krow on instagram

Photographer: JAMES ANASTASI
Stylist: LUKE DAY
Styling assistant: EMILY TIGHE

Look 1
Belt, shoes: STYLIST’S OWN

Look 2

Look 3

Look 4
Blazer, trousers: MSGM

Look 5
Jacket, trousers, top: CELINE