The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Hari Nef

b. October 21, 1992

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Hari Nef until we are able to commission a full entry.

Hari Nef for Vogue. Photographed by Ben Grieme, styled by Taylor McNeill.

Hari Nef, the first trans woman model to be signed to the prestigious IMG modeling agency, has used her public platform to speak out on issues that affect other transgender people. While attending Columbia University, Nef began transitioning and pursuing modeling simultaneously, saying that once she realized the kind of life she wanted, she didn’t want to wait to start living it. In 2014 she began shooting magazine covers and fashion spreads for Frische, Dazed, and i-D. She earned a bachelor’s degree in theater in 2015, the same year she signed to IMG, strutted the runway at New York Fashion Week, began a recurring role on the Amazon hit show Transparent, and was named one of the Forward 50. In 2017 she starred in a L’Oreal television ad, making her their first openly transgender model. Since then, she has walked the runway in Spring/Summer 2023’s Fashion Month and acted  in multiple motion pictures, including Greta Gerwig’s film Barbie (2023). In an upcoming biopic, she will portray Candy Darling, a transgender actress who starred in multiple Andy Warhol films. While pursuing both her acting and modeling career at a breakneck pace, Nef has also written and lectured extensively on the performance of gender and the discrimination and violence that trans women and girls face either when they fail to meet expectations of femininity or when they succeed. 

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Hari Nef." (Viewed on October 3, 2023) <>.


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