Britney Manson talks about her model walk & the importance of trans visibility in fashion

Britney Manson talks about her model walk & the importance of trans visibility in fashion

by Juliette Eleuterio
8 min

POV: You’re scrolling through TikTok and Britney Manson appears behind some dark techno, walking down the street like its a 2001 model casting. What started as a fun way for Britney to showcase her talents became an actual casting opportunity, with the model now heading to September’s Fashion Week to walk for all your favourite brands. Truly one to always chase her dreams, the trans Warsaw-based model doesn’t just want to become a model, she’s a role model for all, proving that no matter what, dreams can be realised. We chatted with Britney about her journey from TikTok to the runway, her inspirations and her music career.

Hey Britney ! How’s it going? Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi! I’m Bitney Manson, I’m a runway queen and I’m that walker on TikTok and I’m a f*cking star. Also, I’m a musician, a model and I’m a trans activist.

The full package! What did you get up to today before joining me for this interview?

That’s so funny because I’m still celebrating my birthday. It’s over actually, but it’s still happening because I’m still getting gifts. So it seems like I’m still celebrating my birthday. It’s Cancer season.

Happy late birthday!

Thank you gorgeous.

@helenabromboszcz ©

Before starting your TikTok, you were already involved in the industry by walking for shows that took place in London and Turkey. What pushed you to start showcasing your talents online?

Yeah, I’ve had some small experiences before. In 2020, the legendary year, I did London Fashion Week, I did Istanbul Fashion Week, some shows in China, but they were all small experiences, not that big. I always felt like I’m ready for something bigger, because as you said, I am the full package. The agencies were always like telling me [that I was] too specific, that I’m too unique. They were worried about it. But it takes ‘too specific’ to change in the industry. I can prove that with a lot of names, for example, my childhood icon, Andreja Pejíc. She was so special. When she began, she was one of the first ever trans models who was represented by the most famous brands. I was like, ‘okay, if they’re scared, maybe I should go for social media’. Maybe that’s gonna be the way I can be recognised and hired by a modelling agency. It was super spontaneous. I just recorded the way I crossed the streets. I mean, why not? It looks beautiful. I just posted my first video, like ‘POV: it’s early 2000s models’. It blew up to 10 million [views] in a couple of hours. And then two days later, I posted [a TikTok] ‘walking until I get noticed by a model agency’, and that’s how it started. So now I am signed with three model agencies, and a fourth one, it’s a little secret. It’s one of the top ones. I wish you knew how excited I am because I couldn’t believe that hey contacted me. I feel like it’s a fake. I kept checking so many times, is it real or not? Because I couldn’t believe it, like it’s a fantasy. 

You’ve been recognized and praised through your videos by other models like Janice Dickenson, who was very impressed with the size of heels you were wearing. What has been one reaction to your videos you could have never imaged?

Actually, all of the reactions that I could never imagine in my life. For example, when Natasha Poly herself, rated my catwalk a 10/10… I just literally forgot how to breathe. There were Vlada Roslyakova, Naomi Smalls, Natasha Poly, Janis Dickenson, Brian Boy… So many of my childhood icons that I looked up to. They just paid attention to my videos, and they reacted, and I was like, ‘it can’t be real’. 

@britneymnsn ©

Out of all the supermodels that have come before you, who would you say has the best walk? Who is your favourite? Who inspires you the most?

Natasha Poly. When I was a child, I looked up to her a lot. I wouldn’t say she taught me how to catwalk because I did it by myself. But that was my standard. I want to ask her to step on me one day when we’re going to be on the same runway, just like, ‘hi, Natasha could step on me?’ Because she’s a f*cking icon. Because I was like, okay, that’s the point. I would also say Andreja Pejíc. You can see her influence on me in my style. 

Whether on the actual runway or just in the streets, how do you feel when you are strutting down “the runway”? What’s going through your mind?

I’m just turning that Brittany Manson mode on, and that’s all I have to say about it. I can’t even explain how it feels. I just turn this mood on and that’s how it’s done. Just watch me and do the same. You’re gonna be the runway queen of all time, on the subway, on the streets, your school, in your office, even in the supermarket, just lay it’s so hard. Because what if we were to die tomorrow? And you never slayed. Will you regret it? Of course.

@folenial ©

Now we’ve seen you work with the likes of Valentino and Etro, modelled for the H&M and Mugler collab. Was this always the goal for you?

Dreamed? Yes. Could I have imagined it? Definitely not. I remember this moment when Valentino wrote to me and I was like, ‘stop, somebody hit me on my face because am I sleeping? how could it be real?’. They were the first big brand to notice me, and I’m really grateful for them. It’s a fantasy. I wish everyone’s dreams would come true like mine. I’ve been obsessed with the fashion industry ever since I came out of my mother’s vagina. Now I’m just working with these brands, it’s amazing. It’s thanks to my fans. They literally made it happen. I never had a plan B, I always knew that I’m gonna be here. Now, and like I’ve always done, I want to show to the people that dreams can be real.

If you could model for one brand, which brand would it be?

I have two, and they are so opposite of each other. It’s Valentino and Philipp Plein and I’m going to explain to you why. Valentino, I really appreciate that they’re so diverse, and they’re so pro-trans. We definitely can see that in their runway shows, season by season. For Philipp Plein, he’s the bad boy, the fashion industry, but let’s just talk about the fact that he was literally one of the first who hired the trans model Lea T for his campaign. I remember, that was back then in 2012 or 2011, when nobody talked about trans models. I’ll never forget that, and I appreciate that. 

@gabrielevinciguerra_ph ©

While most people know you for your modelling and social media work, not a lot of people know you are also a singer, having released 2 songs last year that explore the struggles of being in this industry. Was music something you always had your eyes set on or was it something you felt compelled to do after having faced those very struggles?

It doesn’t matter the gender, the colour, or the size… Everybody in this industry has some struggles, some problems, because it’s a business. I just created the lyrics here, like ‘what if we’re going to die tomorrow, who’s gonna be the last supermodel on Earth?’ I just created [a song] based on that, this character. All of us have the same problems; it’s rejection, it’s the problems with the casting, no sleep, just always on the go. I’m not surprised that people don’t know that I’m also a singer, because I released only two of my songs. My bad… My new album is coming so soon! 

What’s next for you?

My next single Fashion is coming out very soon. I’m pretty sure you’re gonna like it because it’s something that people from the fashion industry are inspired with. I hope it’s coming around November. I’m also going to be there at Fashion Week during September. A lot of things to do. Just slay on the runway, on the streets and inspire people, that’s the goal. That said, this was f*cking Britney Manson. Watch my TikToks, watch my YouTube and I love you so much. You are all runway queens.

More on Culted

See: Calum Harper is demystifying the fashion industry one TikTok at a time

See: Model & TikToker Kit Price talks about breaking down the barriers of the modelling industry

in other news