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StyleCrush: Arisce Wanzer of SLAY.

StyleCrush: Arisce Wanzer of Slay Models. Photo by Dustin Sohn.

Arisce Wanzer is not your average model. The Southern beauty grew up in Virginia and has sashayed her way through the Miami, New York and Los Angeles fashion scenes and is currently with Slay Models, a transgender modeling agency based in Los Angeles. A fan of “live and let live,” Wanzer supports all transgender people and is the first to come to the defense of late-transitioning trans women who have been ridiculed for “not passing.” She’s also staunch supporter of Black Lives Matter.
Name: Arisce Wanzer
Age: 29
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Facebook: Arisce Wanzer Official
Find me on: Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.
Arisce Wanzer, Slay Models.

Arisce Wanzer, Slay Models. Photo by Alena Sazonova.

Wear Your Voice: How do you describe your style?

Arisce Wanzer: I’d describe my style as very “model off-duty.” It’s young, yet chic and simple, always ready for a surprise casting. I don’t embrace trends too often as they don’t necessarily compliment everybody and can be fleeting as hell.

Until I feel like a piece could make its way into becoming a classic or staple (i.e. skinny jeans, short shorts, oversized cardigans), I shy away. My day to day look always has a pop of color, but consists mainly of tank tops and booty shorts, as it’s always sunny in L.A. and it’s an easy look.

WYV: What inspired your modeling career?

AW: When I was 14, I remember watching the Victoria’s Secret fashion show on T.V. with my family and thinking of how much fun of a job those women made modeling look. They all looked so happy and so beautiful. I never really got the reality of how much work actually goes into it (I learned that the hard way!). I definitely started out doing this for me, to prove to myself that I could be beautiful or desired and be paid for it, as I had never been an object of desire before. Well, let me tell you, that gets old very fast — being objectified should definitely not be a goal, kids! My sights have since shifted to trans visibility, attempting to normalize our presence in society by constantly producing great work that people want more of.

Arisce Wanzer, Slay Models.

Arisce Wanzer, Slay Models. Photo by Jenn Collins.

WYV: Who are your top StyleCrushes?

AW: I only have two celebrity style crushes and they are Victoria Beckham and Gwen Stefani. To me, they can literally do no wrong. Both have been impeccably consistent with a style that’s met my aesthetic their entire careers. Classic, fun, chic and STILL sexy, they are my fashion gods for sure. My other style crush is fellow SLAY model and friend Oli Carrillo. Her sense of style is fearless and bad-ass. She’s up on the hottest looks and pulling them off like nobody else can; she’s absolutely incredible.

Related: Dezjorn Gauthier of I Am Here, I Am He, Helping Create Gentlemen Worldwide

WYV: Where do you shop? What are your favorite brands and designers?

AW: My first choice for full price fashion would have to be Fred Segal; the brands range from IRO, to Citizens of Humanity, to my nearly favorite Rag & Bone. When I’m looking for something cheap and chic I hit up my favorite second-hand store, Crossroads, either on Melrose or the Los Feliz location. They have literally everything you’ve ever missed from seasons past. I just recently scored an Alexander Wang dress I’d wanted years ago for just sixty bucks. And when I just feel like senselessly shopping, I hit up every single thrift store in a 20-mile radius of Hollywood, although I find thrifting in Beverly Hills to be the best bet for labels: rich people throw away unworn clothes EVERY DAY. It’s fantastic!

Arisce Wanzer, Slay Models.

Arisce Wanzer, Slay Models. Photo by Genesis Illada.

WYV: What challenges have you run into as a trans woman in the modeling industry? Do you feel it gives you an edge on competition with cis women?

AW: The challenge with being trans in this industry is the same as it is for any cisgender model. We have to fit the clothes and appear marketable to casting directors and designers. The fashion industry is notorious for tokenizing anybody that isn’t a cis white person, so trans people, black people, Asians and other minorities are all in the same tiny boat in this business. It’s shitty, but I’m grateful to have gotten in and be able to speak on such issues. Racism in this industry can and will be stopped, it’s just the matter of people taking action and being inclusive.

WYV: Do you use your spotlight for political issues/activism or do you prefer to just keep it about fashion?

AW: I speak my mind on trans visibility, Black Lives Matter and societal issues on my social media. Other than that nobody’s really clambering for a model to speak at the democratic convention or pride parade.

Arisce Wanzer, Slay Models.

Arisce Wanzer, Slay Models. Photo by Alena Sazonova.

WYV: How do you wear your voice?

AW: I don’t really wear my voice, I use it. Anybody that knows me or has come into contact with me never has to guess what I’m thinking for very long.  I literally never stop talking and I always speak my mind, I’m easy as hell to understand. The way I look and dress myself are just a tool to get people to actually listen to what I have to say.

Wanzer makes her cinematic debut in Cheetah In August. 


Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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