Alex Consani is the real deal

Alex wears coat, dress and shoes ALAÏA

Since her debut in 2021, Alex Consani has become one of the world's most in-demand models, storming down runways and cracking up her 2.7 million TikTok followers in the process. Now, she covers the summer issue of THE FACE.

Taken from the new print issue of THE FACE. Get your copy here.

Alex Consani is a ball of energy. Whipsmart, and with a voracious appetite for life and the human connections that come with it, the 20-year-old’s personality is as addictive IRL as it is online.

Over the last two-and-a-half years, the Californian has had a meteoric rise, becoming one of the most in-demand models in the industry. Since making her major fashion week debut for Tom Ford in New York in September 2021, she’s walked the runway for (take a breath): Mugler, Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Versace, Ferragamo, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and Diesel, and appeared in campaigns for Marc Jacobs, Jean Paul Gaultier x KNWLS and more. Last season alone, she walked a grand total of 17 shows. If you saw the entire audience lift their iPhones in unison at any one of those events in New York, London, Milan or Paris, it was sure to be Alex they were filming. With social media awash with clips of her distinctive walk – bouncy strides, a subtle hip sway – Alex has built a die-hard fanbase online, too. On TikTok, she goes by the handle @captincroook and has amassed 2.7 million followers thanks to her spontaneous and unfiltered brand of humour.

She regularly racks up millions of views on videos of her pretending to be locked in a trailer on set, belting out Rihanna’s Where Have You Been for innocent passersby on the streets of New York, vlogging a meatball taste test on a trip to Sweden, impersonating an Italian tour guide while running through the cobbled streets of Milan, or showing you how she woke up with last night’s beat smudged all over her face. But there’s one thing guaranteed at all times: you’re getting the real deal.

Alex wears jacket and skirt GUCCI and tights FALKE

Authenticity runs through Alex’s blood. Having grown up in the Bay Area of San Francisco, where she still has many forever friends”, Alex credits the success of her career to the mentality of her hometown and the people she surrounded herself with — specifically the tight-knit local queer and trans community. It was after being sent to Harbor (formerly known as Aranu’tiq), a trans summer camp in New Hampshire, by her supportive parents, aged 12, that Alex decided she wanted to go into modelling.

I don’t know if they still do this, but at the time [the camp] had trans celebrities come visit, a lot of cool people, and it inspired me to be in their world because I was so enamoured by them,” she says. Being a 12-year-old trans girl and seeing these really gorgeous, successful trans women made me want to be a part of that lore.” Alex told her mum she wanted to get into entertainment, specifically modelling, found a trans-only agency on Facebook and signed up. At the age of 15, her parents drove her to Los Angeles for fashion week, where she found herself walking in every single show. That was the first moment where I felt like becoming a model could be an actual reality.”

She’s still super close to her mum and dad, and thankful for the way they prioritised supporting her. Especially when I was growing up, with figuring out my gender identity. The more I’ve been in this industry, it’s something I recognise as a real privilege because so many people don’t have that type of support,” Alex says. Being a trans child and hearing someone tell you that it’s alright to not know and not feel normal, and that everything will be OK, that’s something I really credit to everything good in my life.”

The good things in life – a major season, real friends, the runway dolls (aka her fellow trans models), being the role model she always wanted – are exactly what we talked about when Alex beamed in from her New York home, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, a couple of days after shooting this cover story.

Hi Alex, how are you?

I’m doing fabulous. It’s getting nice and warm in New York now.

How do you like living there?

I love it. I’ve met such an amazing group of people here, mostly mutual friends from back home, but it’s made me realise this is the place to be. I don’t want to make this whole interview about me being trans, but it is a big part of my life and identity. [And] I had this experience in my first week in New York – I was on a train and I saw these [two] older trans women in the same train car. One was on one side of the bench and the other was sitting opposite. I was with my aunt and we noticed they locked eyes with each other. They were in their fifties, maybe sixties. One of them went to sit with the other and they started a conversation about their trans experience.

Seeing that in-person right in front of me, in my very first week in the city, I was like: This is where I need to move. This is my place. This is my community!” Because there’s no other place in the United States where you can find such a genuine group of people who want one another to feel supported and accepted.

Serendipity! You were meant to witness that conversation. I watched an old video of you recently, where you’re talking about your future as a model. How does it feel watching that now?

I actually just saw that video [again] a couple of weeks ago. I remember being there on my first ever photoshoot in LA with my mom. I went through the pictures of the shoot after I saw the video [which was filmed on that set]. It’s crazy because back then I felt like I knew everything, or I was at my most educated. But looking back, the way that I thought about the industry was so different. The last three or four years have opened my mind.

And what a whirlwind they’ve been. We need to talk about the season that just happened, where you walked every fucking show! What was the highlight?

I mean, the whole thing was so much fun! But the Conner Ives show in London was such an amazing experience because it was my first time opening a show in a traditional way. I really love Conner. He’s so driven and talented, and being a part of his shows is always so emotional because he genuinely cares and puts his whole heart into his creations. He definitely prioritises the type of diversity that I appreciate. Him and [casting director] Ben [Grimes] are amazing together. I knew so many people walking the show and I was so excited. That was one of the moments this season for sure.

You walked 17 shows across New York, London, Paris and Milan. That’s a lot.

It’s crazy that people support me that much. God, I’m just so grateful. But what really pinches me the most is when I get to understand the creative behind the collection. I’ve always said I like to be in character when I’m doing something like that because it allows me to feel it on a deeper level. I hate to be all corny by saying that, but it’s definitely real. I enjoy becoming a part of the clothing.

You walked for Mugler in Paris – now that’s what you call a show!

Casey [Cadwallader] is amazing. There was so much going on in that show with the curtains and the smoke. There were drones going over me and cameras going around me – it was so extravagant! Thankfully the [production] team did most of the work for us. They’re great at what they do. Every time I do a [Mugler] show it’s gaggy, because so many of the trans women that I look up to, who paved the way in the industry, started with Thierry Mugler and the earlier part of that brand [in 1989, pioneering trans model Connie Girl walked in his show]. So it’s really cool to be a current trans woman working among, and with, people who created history in my community.

Let’s talk about your walk. It’s so distinctive, people can spot you immediately.

I’m so grateful for that! It’s something I’ve practised for so long. I had a lot of people I looked up to when it came to walks: Dominique Jackson, Gisele Bündchen, Shalom Harlow. A lot of those girls really inspired me. But the amount of walking you do, especially in New York, has changed my walk a lot – I just be pumping through these streets! So I think over time I grew into it. I like extra and I like extravagance.

Speaking of extravagance, you recently went to the Oscars. How was it?

The Oscars was such a gag experience – I never thought that I would be invited to an event like that. I’m just a girl! It was an honour to be invited and to be dressed by Ludovic [de Saint Sernin]. He put that look together in less than a week. I did the fitting in Paris and then he sent me the most gorgeous fucking video of this dress and I was like: Oh, that is the one!” I still can’t even get over that moment. I got to meet so many people that I looked up to.

Who’s the best person you met?

I got to have a little, like, Hey!”, with Jamie Lee Curtis, which was crazy, because that’s my mother!

Did you go to any afterparties?

I went to In-N-Out [Burger] with my friends – that was the party, girl. An event like that is exhausting, meeting so many people. Not in a bad way, it’s an amazing thing. But, for me, the only thing I wanted after it was a cheeseburger. So that’s what I got.

Delicious. You’re the life and soul backstage at the shows, how do you keep up that energy?

I’m not gonna say I’m an anxious person. But I definitely have anxiety, especially when I’m working a lot as it takes up so much emotional energy. I have to show up physically, but emotionally, too, to give the girls what they want to see! It’s important to prioritise taking care of myself. I’ve tried to work and then party after, and it’s not something that works for me. So I do just go home.

Who are your favourite people to be cast with?

I mean, any of the dolls. Girl, the runway dolls are all so amazing. We all started at the same time, so we’ve grown up together in this industry. When I see them I’m like: OK, it’s gonna be a kiki!” It’s very much about the energy. I’m an energy-driven person. So if I come in and see someone I know I’ll kiki. But I love to start conversations with people I don’t know, too. Because the one thing about fashion that I really appreciate is that you get to meet people from different walks of life, with different experiences, who’ve gone through so many different things. It’s such a gift to be able to be around those people for months on end and get some wisdom from that.

Tell us about your style. In what clothes do you feel the most you?

I feel like it’s always changing, especially since I’ve worked among people I’m inspired by. But I want to say I’m chic. I’m really into Carine Roitfeld-core – she’s the pinnacle of chic to me. But I’ve always said outfits are just a representation of how you’re feeling at that moment, so I try not to define my style too much.

What do you like to do when you get some downtime?

Hang out with my friends and people that maybe aren’t in the industry – just to give my life a little bit more, you know, gravity. I feel like it takes me outside of the work that I do. I’ve always said it’s important to remember that you, as a person, are always more than the work you do. And even if your whole life is work, it doesn’t mean you are work, do you know what I mean? I like to remind myself that being around people I have a connection with genuinely makes me feel good.

That makes sense. You’re really popping off on social media. Do you have to turn that energy on? Or is that the real Alex? I feel like I already know the answer…

I feel like I’ve always had that energy! It’s really not a character. A lot of people have asked me this and I think social media will always be something that’s curated – you’re posting [about] what you like, whether you realise that or not. I think I’ve definitely built a persona with aspects of me that are funny or interesting. But there’s so much depth to people in general. I’m not saying I’m the deepest person ever, but sometimes when I meet people for the first time who have known me from the internet, they’re surprised by how emotional I am. My TikTok and Instagram [posts] might not be giving deep conversation, but I love a good life talk – I’m a Leo-Cancer cusp! But there’s no way to represent every aspect of my personality on social media, so I just post whatever I think is funny in that moment.

As hands-down the most entertaining person on TikTok, who entertains you?

I just saw this account that reviews men’s apartments in New York and it’s interesting to see how other people live their lives in the city, especially men. It’s a gag. I’m like, OK, we live a different fantasy! I’ve said this before, but the sprinkle, sprinkle” girl on TikTok is such a gag. I recently found out she follows me on Instagram and, I’m not kidding, I started crying.

I love that for you. You’ve built such a strong community on social media and trans youth look up to you. How do you navigate that?

It’s amazing because the reason I even started working in the fashion industry is because I saw such a lack of representation and a lack of people to look up to as a trans person. There have been so many boxes and so many false narratives put on women especially, but also any minority within the women group. So it’s really difficult to find someone that you resonate with who’s relatable, but also successful. Having built a community of people who look at me that way is crazy because that’s always been one of my goals. It’s cool living in New York, too. I meet so many amazing people who’ve seen what I do – young trans people, middle-aged trans people, gay people, cis women, so many amazing people – who are supportive and proud, and they’ve told me they take inspiration from me. That’s hard to comprehend!

How are you feeling about representation in the fashion industry right now?

I mean, there’s definitely change to be made. I’m so grateful that I have support within my community. But there’s [still] so many people who don’t support my identity and the things I believe in, so I hope in the future we get to a point where people can look past someone’s identity and be supportive of them as a human being.Speaking about fashion specifically, it’s an industry that’s based around looks, appearances and making things digestible for a consumer. That creates a lot of gaps in true diversity. There’s so much left to do. I’ve grown up around different types of people in my community and I don’t see that correctly represented at all in the work I do. It’s amazing that there are so many trans people. But I’d love to see more non-white trans people, or non-able-bodied trans people, or non-sample-size trans people. It’s so important when you’re saying the word diversity” to truly give society a view of how normal it is to just be a woman and, like, happen to be trans! It doesn’t come in one life experience.

Totally. OK, last question: what’s your ultimate goal?

My ultimate, ultimate goal is to make being a trans woman looked at as just being a woman. It’s less about their identity and more about the person. I don’t think any trans person enjoys the first facet of their life being [seen just as] trans.

I always say to people that I’m a woman first, a model second and a trans person third. That order is really important to symbolise what it means to be a woman. I want to get to a point where white men in their sixties will know I’m trans and they’ll see me and [just] say: That’s a woman.”


HAIR Dylan Chavles at MA+ Group using Oribe MAKE-UP Janessa Paré at Streeters PRODUCER Julia Levin PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT Jack Belli STYLIST’S ASSISTANT Sierra Estep THANKS TO Eloise Parry and Little Mickey

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