Vogue Business 100 Innovators is out, with Filipino trans activist Rylé Tuvierra named a Champion for Change. The digital creator, curator, and consultant works with luxury brands Jean Paul Gaultier, Farfetch, Luisaviaroma, and more on their inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability initiatives. Here, in her own words, Rylé Tuvierra tells us how she forges a path of empowerment for her community, her ancestors, and her family.
It was a time of immense sorrow and despair when my father and late aunt passed away in 2013 and 2014. It felt as though my whole world had crumbled beneath me, leaving me hopeless and adrift. However, in the midst of the darkness, my mother stood by my side, refusing to let me give in to despair. She believed in me from the very beginning, instilling in me hope that would guide me throughout my journey.
Growing up, I never saw myself reflected on television or in advertisements. I lacked someone to look up to, someone who could inspire me to dream and believe in the possibilities that lay ahead. But instead of succumbing to the pain and heartache, I used it as a catalyst for change. From the ashes of my grief, my alter ego, The Fierce Walker, was born. The blueprint was set.
I realized that my dreams were larger than life itself, and at a young age, I understood that sacrifices were necessary to bring them to fruition. I worked tirelessly as a store staff member at 7/11, enduring 12-hour shifts, six days a week. But even as the sun set on those long days, I would transform into The Fierce Walker, attending events and curating content that aimed to inspire others to dream.
As my journey led me to Dubai, I found myself immersed in significant events, thanks to the guidance of my first fashion mentor, Marriam Mossalli, an influential figure in the luxury consulting industry. Despite facing doubt and attempts to belittle my capabilities, I persevered, evolving and training with an open heart. My mother’s words echoed in my mind: “You may not always have a comfortable life, and you may not solve the world’s problems, but never underestimate the power and value that you possess.”
With each step, my path led me deeper into the fashion industry, prompting me to attend major fashion weeks in London, Milan, and Paris. It was during these experiences that I realized I was often the only “different” one, a “trans woman,” receiving invitations. This realization ignited a desire within me to open doors for women like me and for my community. There was an undeniable need to champion inclusivity and diversity within the luxury fashion sector.
I found joy and fulfillment as I began to appear in commercials and campaigns, recognizing that if I didn’t strive to be the best at what I do, I would never have the chance to create opportunities for my community. I dedicated myself to learning various storytelling techniques and digital fashion execution, immersing myself in the latest tools and technologies. Through my involvement with Circular Fashion Summit and Lablaco, I was honored to be chosen as one of their speakers.
In March 2020, as the world grappled with the pandemic, a new chapter of my journey unfolded. I worked as a nanny for an Italian family while pursuing a postgraduate degree in communication and digital content creation at Bau University in Barcelona. After receiving my diploma, I established my first company, The Fierce Walker Lab, followed by the creation of Baby Drama a year later. These ventures allowed me to work tirelessly on projects aligned with inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability.
My aim is to redefine “fierce,” transforming it into community symbols of inclusivity and perseverance. Through my journey, I have learned that even in the face of adversity, it is possible to rise above and create a better future. I am driven by the belief that anything is achievable if we dare to dream and believe in ourselves. I want to rewrite the narrative of what it means to be “fierce,” empowering one another to conquer the world.
Photography: Max Bohdanov. Hair and Makeup: Manuel Perera. Styling: Alex Pal.