Apr 11, 2014 9:05AM

Interview & Shoot: Inès-Loan Rau

Shot by Aingeru Zorita in Oyster #104.

In her own words Inès-Loan Rau is "taking the state of being to the next level". The New York-based transgender model is the embodiment of power: hyper-confident, honest to the point of urgency and fiercely determined to succeed. Only a few months into her career, she has already shot for Playboy, Vogue Italia and Candy Magazine. Move over, Elle Macpherson! Inès is The New Body. We interviewed French hottie for Oyster 104: The Exposed Issue — out now!

Jerico Mandybur: Hi Inès!
Inès-Loan Rau: What’s up, Jerico? Have you seen the pictures from the shoot?

They’re amazing. Have you seen them?
When I shot them I saw them on the computer, but not the finals. Please tell me there is the picture with the basketball?

Yeah, that's in there!
[Squeals] Exciting! This picture, honey, is fire. I'm sorry!

It's pretty sexy. What does 'sexy' mean to you?
Sexy means more than just seduction, to me. Sexy means giving. When you're sexy you give a little bit of yourself to people, so it's more about sharing. So that's why I love to be sexy, because I know that it's giving people nice vibes.

You're putting yourself all out there.
Exactly. That's the way I see it. I really want to give something nice to people through being sexy. When I dress up sexy to go out I know that people are enjoying it even more than I am, so then I'm enjoying it. You know what I mean?

Speaking of going out…
Yeah, girl!

What's your signature party move?
It's when I arrive in the room and I own it! I'm not doing it on purpose, I swear to God, but the way I walk in life — it's like the catwalk. I always walk like, [claps] "Clack, clack, clack!" Very fierce, very confident and very powerful. So I would say that's my best party move — it's when I arrive at the party with my hot girlfriends. I wanna make sure that the entrance and the exit are beyond fierce, honey.

Who in the world would you most like to party with?
Oh my God, I love this question! I would choose the icons from the 60s, the 70s, the 80s... You know, like Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Brigitte Bardot, Serge Gainsbourg, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Amanda Lear — she looked like a goddess. I would have loved to party with those people. If I had to choose someone from our generation I would say Beyoncé or Rihanna, because they're both divas and bad girls — which I love.

What is it about that time period that makes it seem more substantial?
Substantial is the right word. It seems like it was more into love and more into chill. The colour and the disco music — it was all about being fabulous and loving each other. It was like a drag ball everyday! I think people in our time take themselves too seriously, so they're not going as far in their expression of themselves. In the 70s straight guys were wearing make-up! It was so much more open.

What's the best birthday present you've ever received?
It's a Rolex. I just got it two days ago for my birthday. It's the best present ever. It's completely gold with diamonds. It's insane. I've never had a gift like that. It's from one of my fans from the Middle East.

Is this someone you've met in real life?
Yeah, we're becoming friends. It's someone who's so nice to me and really supportive of the situation — just a friend. I got the Rolex two days ago and I'm scared of even wearing it!

Did you always want to be a model?
My biggest dream in the world when I was a little girl was to be first of all a princess and then a rock star. I think, being a fashion model, it's a perfect combination of both! Which is amazing. I always wanted to be a fierce wildcat that owns the world. It seems like I'm on the way. [Laughs]

You seem so fearless when it comes to being naked, too. What's the secret to being a "fierce wildcat"?
I think nudity is very pure. Since the Middle Ages, huge painters were painting nudes. Even angels were nude. When it's really well done it's so symbolic and beyond words. I love seeing a good nude of me and I think that people love it too. Hello! [Laughs] I call myself a "fierce wildcat" because I'm a very powerful person. I felt comfortable being nude, even before doing the transition. I always felt in love with my body. That's the way I am.

What's your favourite part of your body?
My neck. I think I have a very beautiful and long neck, which is very chic.

It's like a swan's neck.
Yeah, girl! A swan. I love that one. You have to put that in the interview!

I was watching these videos on YouTube of you and Andrej Pejic saying "obsession".
She's my best friend. We've noticed that people are kind of obsessed with the situation — we call it 'The Situation'. So, when someone is jumping on us in the club or they want to take pictures, or people are asking us so many questions, we're like, "Oh my God. Obsession!" They’re obsessed! We like to be silly and act like teenagers. We love people, but we like to joke in this way. If a guy — like, a straight guy — comes up and is very attracted by the situation, we're going to look at each other and go, "He's obsesssssed."

You had your Instagram account suspended over the pictures you shot with Tyson Beckford. Are you too sexy for social media?
Oh my God. Honey, they did it three times! Can you believe? And I had to start all over again. Yeah, maybe I am too hot for Instagram! I'm being very careful now with my pictures, especially naked pictures.

In Playboy’s Art issue you represented the letter 'E' for evolution. How do you think society is evolving?
I think the world is evolving in the right way. I was transitioning from ages 16 to 18 and people were always very open-minded. I never really had to suffer from rejection — like, of course I did! But only about 5% of the time. I wasn't very out about it for years and I only did my coming out recently. I was surprised because I was always scared of telling guys — I always thought they would reject me, but actually they are so much more open-minded than I thought. It's crazy. I was even so scared of telling someone to Google me when I met them. Then when he did he was like, "Whatever." I love it!

It says on your Twitter that you're "fiercely taking the state of being to the next level". What does that mean to you?
Well, it's a very powerful feeling to choose which gender you’re going to be and to go for it. So, I feel that I own this life more than anyone could. I went all the way to become the deep-inside person that I wanted to be. I think you would agree that so many people in the world live a life that isn't really the life they wish they could live deep inside, but they feel they have to stay how they are because it's easier. People are scared of judgment. So to go through the stages of trusting yourself, choosing your gender, assuming it and going for it — I think it's taking the state of being to the next level! I'm really proud of myself for that. When I die, I'll know that I rocked this world. I think it's amazing and I'm writing a book about it.

Are you? That’s cool.
Of course! Because I think it's the most exciting adventure. I've seen this world with the eyes of different genders. I know how people react with a boy, I know how people react with a woman and I know how people react when they know you're transgender. I love people so much because I know all these insecurities that they have. I've been through different sexualities, different genders, and dealing with people with different bodies, faces, genders and everything, which makes me sensitive and understanding of humanity. Which is amazing and that's why I'm writing about it!

How long until it comes out?
I think in a year it's going to be out. I really want to write about my perspective because I feel like I've seen people at their best and at their worst, you know? I know how it feels to walk down the street and have no one looking at you, and then to walk down the street with everyone looking at you.

What advice would you give to young trans people who are dreaming of transitioning physically but maybe don't have the means yet?
I think you need to be sure you want to change your sex physically. If you aren't sure, I wouldn't recommend you go for it, because I think that doesn't make sense. But if you really know deep inside that you're born in the wrong body and want to go through the big change, then go for it as young as you can. Go see doctors and do things properly. Then it's the best adventure in the world!

I read that Inès means 'holy' or 'pure'. Do you consider yourself to be holy or pure?
Even if I can be a little silly and cunt-y in everyday life — because I think it's funny — deep inside I'm a very pure person. I know I could never ever do something to hurt someone. I love people so much, even people who don’t like me — I wish them the best. If I see someone crying in the street, you can be sure that I will go give them a hug and cry too!

How would you sum up everything you've learnt?
The biggest lesson I've learnt is to never give up on your dreams. What people think of as impossible, there is always a way to make it possible. That's why in Paris, where I'm from, people call me the "Cinderella of our time". I was a little boy from a modest family and it was really wasn't easy; now I'm a supermodel and it's like a fairytale. I think my story is not just for transgender people, but for anyone. If you trust yourself, fight and have this flame inside you. Then things are going to happen.

Find out what else is inside Oyster #104: The Exposed Issue, on sale now!

Photography: Aingeru Zorita
Text: Jerico Mandybur
Fashion: Avena Gallagher
Hair: Paul Merritt
Make-up: Itsuki
Model: Inès-Loan Rau @ Marilyn