Voted the 3rd most powerful LGBT person in the United Kingdom, we caught up with transgender icon, DJ, Model and all round mega-babe Munroe Bergdorf to talk discrimination, creative vision and upcoming projects.
What does a day in the life of Munroe Bergdorf look like?
Well, I spend a lot of time playing my favourite tunes at parties, so I’m pretty lucky that I have a job where pretty much no day is the same. I’ve just started to take acting seriously and make that my primary focus for the future, so during the day I’m running around London for castings. I’ve just started rehearsals for a new short film called FEE which will be out later this year.
How did you first get into djing?
I started DJ’ing around 8 years ago. I was working in fashion at the time and became frustrated as it really wasn’t what I had envisioned the fashion industry to be like. I also knew that I wanted to transition gender at the time, so I had to follow my happiness whilst dealing with that, which was music.
How important do you think the relationship is between music and fashion?
Hugely important. If I’m not wearing something that matches my mood during a DJ set then it’ll bug me out for the whole gig. Fashion and music are so intertwined, the two combine and create something magical.
What has been your proudest career moment?
Probably being voted 3rd most powerful LBGT person in the United Kingdom. Not because I see myself that way, but it made me proud to be representing other trans women of colour whilst receiving such an accolade, sandwiched between people I’ve looked up to all my life. Seeing myself on billboards for Uniqlo up and down Oxford Street in London was also a pretty amazing feeling.
You’ve become established as a role model for the trans community, what does this mean to you?
I’m not sure about the whole ‘role model’ thing. I’m still figuring it all out like everyone else. I like the idea of being a ‘role option’. When I was growing up, there were no trans women of colour in the British media that I felt I could relate to, so I guess if other girls can see themselves in me then that’s a pretty cool thing; I’m happy with that.
Who/what inspires you?
Millennials inspire me. The world is a pretty rough place at the moment and Millennials get a lot of flack. I have so much faith in the minds of today’s youth. They were handed a pretty raw deal and have every confidence that a lot of the problems with today’s society will end with them.
You’ve spoken out about your own experiences of bullying and discrimination- what advice would you give to others?
Never let anyone else’s opinion of you become how you view yourself. What matters most is how you see yourself. I spent SO long letting other peoples hangups about themselves become my baggage. Don’t make the same mistake, let it all go and love yourself.
Who has been the coolest person you’ve worked with?
Being shot by Nick Knight was an amazing experience. I’ve been an admirer of his work since I was in high school, so to be cast in a shoot with him behind the camera was a crazy experience.
You’ve created clothing lines for the likes of BOY LONDON and partnered with Illamasqua to design your own lipgloss, what’s your inspiration/creative vision?
I just try to create something that is an extension of my personality really, something that I would wear, something unique that i haven’t seen out there before. Working with Illamasqua is always such a great experience, they have always supported me in my journey and encouraged me to express myself in whatever way I feel.
What has been the most exciting project you’ve been involved in?
I have a project coming up with L’Oreal which is pretty exciting, I can’t say what just yet, but it’s definitely a bit of dream come true.
How would you describe your personal style?
00’s pop princess, with a dash of stripper swagu.
Who would be in your ultimate girl gang?
Pxssy Palace, the all girl collective that I’m part of, will always be my ultimate girl gang, but if i were to put together a fantasy one it would probably include… Moesha, Cher from Clueless, Hillary Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Cookie Lyon from Empire and Buffy Summers from Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
If you could steal anyone’s wardrobe whose would it be?
Rihanna always slays… I love her style, she doesn’t subscribe to just one aesthetic, she does exactly what she wants at any point in time. I admire that quality in a person.
What was the last album you listened to?
Drake – More Life. Passionfruit and Get It Together are pure fiyah.
What track do you want playing as you walk into the club?
Rihanna – Bitch Better Have My Money.
Which emoji best describes you?
Probably ☕ 💅 because there’s always some tea to spill…
Who are you stalking on Instagram RN?
Major girl crush on a singer called @janine. Her voice is absolutely incredible. I’m obsessed with her XXEP record.
What do you love most about Missguided?
I love how Missguided clothes make me feel confident, sexy and like my optimum self. It’s been been my go to for years, there’s always fab new arrivals and so much to choose from.
What’s your life motto?
‘The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet’ – Mohadesa Najumi
What’s next on the agenda for the rest of 2017?
The main focus right now is throwing myself fully into acting and putting on killer parties with Pxssy Palace.
Can you tell us about any projects you have lined up?
My new film FEE comes out later this year and I have a few beauty campaigns coming out, which tie in really nicely with my activism work. Looking forward to the rest of this year!
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