Chelsea Manning Poses in Suit and High Heels for Fashion Photo Shoot

Hayley FitzPatrick
Chelsea Manning recently sat down with ABC News Nightline co-anchor Juju Chang for her first exclusive television interview since being released from prison. (Photo: Getty Images)

Famed fashion photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin have worked with some of the most famous names in the fashion and entertainment industries. The Dutch duo recently added a new name to their portfolio: the controversial — and up until recently, rather elusive — Chelsea Manning.

In an exclusive sit-down with The New York Times Magazine, Manning touched upon everything from her life after serving seven years of a 35-year prison sentence to the conflicting feelings she experienced concerning gender at an early age. She also explained what prompted her to leak the classified documents in 2010 — a move that would shape the course of American history.

“There were two worlds,” she told the magazine. “The world in America, and the world I was seeing [in Iraq]. I wanted people to see what I was seeing.”

The photographers behind the shoot, Inez and Vinoodh, shared an image of Manning posing in a tailored suit by designer Gabriela Hearst on their Instagram channel.


Alongside the image, they thanked the director of photography at the publication for allowing them to participate in the project.

“Beautiful, wickedly intelligent and heartbreaking @xychelsea87 on our cover for @nytmag comes out June 17. Styled by @alexwhiteedits, hair by @hairbychristiaan, make up by @fulviafarolfi. Thank you dear @kathyryan1 for the opportunity to spend a day with this incredible woman. More portraits to follow! Kisses iv #chelseamanning,” they captioned the photo.

Hearst also posted the image to its Twitter account, writing, “Proud to see strong and gorgeous in .”


Manning replied, “Yes — amazing outfit. It’s a pleasure to wear. Thank you so much @.” For the shoot, which was styled by Alex White, Manning also posed in a black dress by designer Brandon Maxwell. The makeup artist for the project, Fulvia Farolfi, posted an image to her Instagram account of Manning and said she was “honored to be part of this project.”

Along with ABC News Nightline co-anchor Juju Chang’s first exclusive television interview with Manning, this is the first exclusive magazine story with the former Army private since her release from prison.

The photos from the highly anticipated magazine debut were met with positive feedback on Inez and Vinood’s Instagram account. On working with Inez for the shoot, Manning wrote on Twitter, “She was amazing — we did some creative stuff!” She also described it as a “fun” experience.

Inez and Vinoodh are used to handling high-profile clientele, as they’ve worked with stars such as Lady Gaga, Clint Eastwood, Bono, Kate Moss, and Tom Cruise. However, this shoot likely stood out given Manning’s divisive image and reputation.

The buzz surrounding the unveiling of Manning’s public image in the magazine could be compared to Caitlyn Jenner‘s introduction as a transgender woman in Vanity Fair‘s July 2015 cover story. The image of Jenner posing in lingerie, which was shot by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, grabbed the public’s attention and made headlines worldwide.

Manning posted a photo to Instagram of herself after being released from prison in early May, which received more than 28,000 likes.


Although Manning has already revealed her look after transitioning from male to female, more people will get a closer look at her story in the Times spread. The powerful images that accompany the profile show just how comfortable Manning now is in her own skin.

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