Shopping Cart

The Very Incarnation of Strength: #ChromatBABE Maya Monès

All photos by Maria Jose
Anyone who’s experienced Maya Monès’ catwalk knows her magnetic energy is unquestionable.


To quote Mic, "Closing the Chromat runway show was Maya Monés, a trans woman who sashayed down the runway to audible screams of excitement from the crowd."



Maya is currently in the midst of an important fundraiser for facial feminization surgery (FFS) - a process that will help her live her life as a trans woman to the fullest. This is the last week of her fundraiser, so please share the love and donate now.


Read on to hear how Maya is utilizing her visibility as a trans woman of color in the fashion industry to help other young folks see themselves in the world.



Are there any women in your life right now that give you strength? What about them inspires you?

There are many; the trans femmes who've come before me, the ones who are here now and the ones who have yet to come-specifically those black & of color. Every aspect of who they were, are, and will be is inconceivably inspiring to me.

Our resilient existence in a world that aims to shoot and shoots to kill, our successes in systems carefully curated for our failure, the smiles that decorate our faces despite the sadness that drapes over our hearts, our light, our power, our magic. We are the very incarnation of strength.

Who were some of your role models when you were growing up?

Looking back, the only person I could look up to was the distant vision I had of myself, but at the time I didn’t know I was her. I grew up very sheltered and confused as to why my parents were trying so desperately to raise me like other “boys,” when none of them ever voiced feelings like mine. It was clear to me that I walked a different walk, I couldn’t hide the divine feminine in me. 


Why do you feel it’s important to inspire the next generation by promoting trans visibility in fashion?

Trans visibility in the fashion industry gives young folks the chance to see themselves. To know their visions are valid and that they have a say in who they are and who they want to be. It shatters the delusion that they have no choice.

You’re currently in the midst of a fundraiser for your Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS). Why is FFS important to you?

When I was forced through male puberty, I was lost. I saw myself fading away in my reflection, and didn’t know why I felt such a void in my heart. I didn’t have the knowledge or language to understand the sinking feeling of not recognizing myself in the mirror was a direct effect of a choice that was made for me when I was born into this body.


Not only is FFS an incredibly important step for me in reclaiming my body, but it is crucial to my physical safety and comfortability in the world, my mental and emotional soundness. I recently found a photograph of myself at around five years old, looking straight into the camera with a blank longing stare. Almost immediately I realized exactly what this surgery really means to me; the chance to return to myself, to pick up where I unknowingly left off.


 What has been your family's reaction to your accomplishments in modeling and music?


My Mami was raised in rural Dominican Republic in the 60’s, so she had a hard time understanding and raising me. There were times when I felt I was letting everyone down, because we had very different hopes of who I’d be and what I would become, but in my heart I knew one day they’d see what I saw too.


I called my mom to ask her this question, she said, “We feel so proud, that without any guidance, you’ve reached such success in such a short amount of time, and that so many people like what you do—I just never thought this was possible.” My heart jumped hearing these words, in her voice.

Honestly, it’s me who is proud of them for breaking down their walls and opening their minds and hearts to me. When I was preparing to come out to them as trans, it was difficult for me to accept that they could decide to let me go, knowing there was a possibility that could be my reality. I feel extremely lucky and blessed to have them as it’s not often you hear positive narratives when it comes to trans folks and biological family. I’m looking forward to the day I can take care of them.

I’ll never forget the first time my mom saw me walk for Chromat, she said, “um, who taught you how to do that?!”

During the Chromat shoot, you mentioned that you don’t like to shoot your face from certain angles as it exacerbates your feelings of dysphoria, and how you couldn’t wait to return to modeling after your FFS, when you will feel freer to be yourself. How have you been able to appear so confident in your modeling while battling your own dysphoria and why did you choose modeling as your creative expression?


My confidence is powerfully fueled by the love I hold for my trans/gnc femme kin and the overwhelming responsibility I feel to provide representation for them. Even as my dysphoria grew worse, to the point that it became crippling, I always found strength in envisioning a young Maya seeing herself now thriving on her own, fighting for space she thought didn’t exist, imagining what it would’ve felt like to see her feelings personified, to see the veil of “impossibility” being lifted from her weary eyes.


Remembering that what I do isn’t for or about me, understanding that it is bigger than me, and knowing that my existence in this industry is aiding in someone’s self-assurance propels me forward, despite whatever I might be going through. I chose modeling because I see the potential the fashion industry has to dismantle oppressive systems and how impactful it can be in supplying hope to those who need it most.

Maya Mones 
What do you love about fashion, and what drew you to work in the industry?

I’ll never forget the first time I put on what felt right. I wore a long black velvet side-slit skirt that rested on my waist, an air-tight black crop top, a black wide-brim hat, white platforms, and a silver unicorn pendant that rested on my freshly exposed midriff. It was a cathartic self-actualization moment that forced me to see the importance and true beauty in expression and exploration through fashion.


I think what I love most about fashion is the transportive and escapist aspects of it. In times when we longingly need to feel distant from our realities, when we want to say so much without speaking, when we want to feel something, when we don’t want to feel anything—fashion gives us the power of choice, something that deeply resonates with me as someone who’s choice was taken from them. Growing up, I thought it was impossible for me to ever live authentically, let alone fulfill a distant dream of being accepted and celebrated as an exemplary gorgeous femme. Proving myself wrong is what first drew me to work in the industry; proving it to all the femmes that have ever felt similarly is what has inspired me to stay.


What was your experience shooting Chromat SWIM with photographer María Jose?

María and I have been talking about shooting together since we met 2 years ago, which also happens to be around the time we both began medically transitioning. It was so special to finally be able to work together after having witnessed each other grow and flourish in our femme-hood. It was imperative to me that the person behind the camera understood the weight and meaning of capturing the very last photographs of me before surgery. There was an unspoken love and recognition radiating from the camera lens, to my eyes, and back; something I’ve only ever felt working with other trans femmes. Te quiero mucho María <3


What's your favorite Chromat piece and why?

The Skim Top because it makes my boobs look so good!!!! It’s so hard to find a top that suits my pubescent trans chest. Plus, it looks like a censor bar, which makes me think about reclaiming folks’ hyper-sexualizing of my body and/or their attempt to deconstruct it for their digestion.


Skim Top

Maya for SS17 Hyperwave

Maya for SS17 Hyperwave

What does it feel like to walk the Chromat runways? Do you get nervous? And how did you develop your signature power walk?

Designers don’t often give you the freedom to explore your walk, to have fun with it. Stepping out on to that runway feels exhilarating and liberating every time because I know I can be my true self in that moment and give it my all.


Maya for AW17 Buoyancy


Behind the scenes, Chromat shows feel like going home for the holidays. Love fills the tight backstage spaces and carries us to the end of that runway and back, where we dance and celebrate each other's power. It's such a beautiful, iconic, and humbling experience to be a part of.

I always get a little nervous right before I step out, but I’ve learned to hone in on that energy and use it to my advantage. Naomi Campbell's fearless and effortless dance down the catwalk has always inspired me!! It was really important to me that my walk came organically, so I tried my best to only practice on the runway, and over the seasons it’s evolved into what it is today!

Maya for SS18 Serenity

Maya closing SS18 Serenity

In addition to modeling, you also DJ. Have you always been interested in music? What do you like about that medium?

Music has always been a big part of my life; from my mom belting her favorite bachata on Saturday mornings to the Latinx anthems blasting at family functions. So, it's always sparked my interest, but I never imagined I’d be DJing. My favorite part about it is when I see people smiling, sweating and losing themselves completely to my sets. I also really like compiling mixes, because it’s like storytelling.

If you weren't in the fashion/music, what other profession could you see yourself in?

I grew up acting, so most likely entertainment! I haven’t been able to return to it since I started my transition, so I’m looking forward to the comeback. ;D


Help Maya Serve Face!

Please donate to Maya’s FFS Fundraiser HERE


This is the last week of her fundraiser, so please donate now. Share the fundraiser with your friends, family and other #ChromatBABES! This is a beautiful way to spread love and support within our community and create the empowering new world we want to see!

All photos by María Jose
Makeup by Van Khai Truong for MAC Cosmetics
Hair by Zenobia



Follow Maya Monès on Instagram here


Listen to Maya Monès on Soundcloud here


And one more time, donate to the beautiful Maya Monès HERE!


Liquid error (snippets/anmegamenu-block line 19): Error in tag 'section' - 'anmegamenu-vert-1' is not a valid section type
Liquid error (snippets/anmegamenu-block line 22): Error in tag 'section' - 'anmegamenu-vert-2' is not a valid section type
Liquid error (snippets/anmegamenu-block line 25): Error in tag 'section' - 'anmegamenu-vert-3' is not a valid section type
Liquid error (snippets/anmegamenu-block line 28): Error in tag 'section' - 'anmegamenu-vert-4' is not a valid section type
Liquid error (snippets/anmegamenu-block line 31): Error in tag 'section' - 'anmegamenu-vert-5' is not a valid section type
Liquid error (snippets/anmegamenu-block line 34): Error in tag 'section' - 'anmegamenu-vert-6' is not a valid section type
Liquid error (snippets/anmegamenu-block line 37): Error in tag 'section' - 'anmegamenu-vert-7' is not a valid section type
Liquid error (snippets/anmegamenu-block line 40): Error in tag 'section' - 'anmegamenu-vert-8' is not a valid section type
Liquid error (snippets/anmegamenu-block line 43): Error in tag 'section' - 'anmegamenu-vert-9' is not a valid section type
Liquid error (snippets/anmegamenu-block line 46): Error in tag 'section' - 'anmegamenu-vert-10' is not a valid section type

Client service

Have a question?
You may contact us!

Mon-Fri: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sun: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
27 Oak Street, Tenafly, US, 07670

Free delivery all orders of $120 or more of eligible items across any product category qualify


Credit Card: Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, American Express


You can return any item purchased within 16 days of the delivery date

Do you like any template? Apply its settings to your store — just select the template you like and press the «Apply» button of the desirable one. Templates can be switched at any time.
Applying a new template overrides the settings. Press «Copy» and paste it into any text file to save your current settings.