First female to sign male modelling contract

She’s taking the male modelling world by storm.

From the swimming pool to the catwalk, former Olympic swimmer-turned New York model Casey Legler has found her calling as a male model.

Sure, retired athletes make the transition into real world professions all the time. But when the French-born Legler signed a male model contract with the prestigious Ford Modelling Agency last summer, it thrust her into the fashion world’s spotlight.

And with good reason: it’s not everyday cross-gender modelling occurs although it’s not new and is quickly carving its niche in the modelling world.

With a masculine physique complimented by chiseled facial features and cheekbones, Legler, 35, who competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics for France in the women’s 50-metre freestyle and freestyle relay, said recently that she lucked into the modelling contract.

A friend who needed a model for a shoot asked her if she’d be interested.

“I wasn’t doing anything on that particular Friday so I said yes,” she said.

Her friend showed the photos from the shoot to an agent at Ford, and the rest is history.

Legler said she feels ushered into the modelling world by Bosnian-born model Pejic, a male model having international success modelling women’s clothing.

An artist who works across a variety of platforms with themes like time, mythology and ritual, Legler believes her entry into the male modelling world is a perfect fit for her, a natural extension of self.

“Seeing me on the men’s board . . . speaks to the notion of freedom,” she says. “There’s something really bold about that, and that it really is saying ‘look, there is also this other way, and it’s really rad.’ ”

Legler will also star in a photo series commissioned by British clothing brand AllSaints, titled “Portraits of a Collection” series.

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