He'll be back on the runways this spring.

By Christopher Luu
Mar 19, 2019 @ 10:00 pm

Model Nathan Westling was notably absent from the runways this season, but he isn't leaving the fashion sphere for good. In a sepcial report by CNN, he came out as transgender, revealing that he took the season off to receive testosterone treatments. His last show was in October 2018, when he walked for Louis Vuitton. His modeling agency, Society Management, released a statement assuring fans and designers alike that he'll continue as a male model.

Formerly known as Natalie Westling, he made his debut back in 2013 at Marc Jacobs and quickly became a favorite among designers such as Nicolas Ghesquière (of Louis Vuitton) and magazines like W, which featured him as "fashion's favorite redhead." He also starred in campaigns from Versace, Prada, Chanel, Dior, and Alexander McQueen as well as American Vogue and the magazine's international editions in China, Japan, Italy, France, and Russia. Westling explained to CNN that the process of stepping away from the spotlight wasn't easy, but he made the decision to head to Los Angeles and take time for himself.

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"It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows in the beginning. My first two months of the transition were tough, and it wasn't until I started to see physical changes that aligned with ... my mental state that I finally woke up and (started) living," he told CNN Style's Allyssia Alleyne. "I'm happy. I can't even imagine going back to how I was before because it's just darkness. I hit a point where I was tired of just existing, because that was kind of my whole life and how I lived. I always questioned how people just lived life, and just woke up and felt good and could just do things. And I couldn't."

Westling is ready to head back to New York, telling Alleyne that he's excited to "connect with the transgender community" and eventually get top surgery. His return to modeling is exciting, as well. Fashionista reports that past clients are all "universally supportive" and that he already has a magazine cover in the works. Dazed, the very first magazine to feature him on the cover, is a likely choice, though the website points to i-D as another possible option. 

Photographer Collier Schorr, who shot Westling's new headshots, shared the new photo on Instagram. Gone is the long red hair. In its place is a shorter chop and a new attitude. 

"This is @nathanwestling," she wrote. "This is his first picture even though we have made so many together. I love you Nathan." 

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Fellow models Kaia Gerber, Kiki Willems, and Helena Severin commented on Westling's post, adding heart emoji. Stylist Alastair McKimm and designer Alexander Wang also offered support and love in their comments.