Ex–Nina Ricci designer Olivier Theyskens reveals that as a child he entertained fantasies of a sex change and told his classmates he would move to America to have this done. “I was always imagining what it is to be a beautiful girl. And I was drawing pictures of women all the time — I diverted my energy into the pictures. The moment I had a pencil, I was creating women, paying a lot of attention to details,” he explains in the London Times. This is how he knew he wanted to be a fashion designer. “This picture was, of course, not complete without a dress, so I was designing fashion as a small child.” But at the ripe age of 9 or 10, he realized that getting a sex-change operation wasn’t for him.
I would have not have been happy as a girl, however. I realised this when I was about 9 or 10 — my shoulders began to get wider, and I knew I would not become the beautiful woman I had dreamt of. Because I am a perfectionist, it put me off the idea. So I quickly became Olivier. I am very happy to be a boy and I never think about that any more.
He is also happy to live in an age where androgyny is accepted and fashionable. Theyskens owns some things he designed for women and considers himself to look more like a “fantasy boy” than a man or a woman. He adds, “People who don’t know me sometimes call me ‘Mademoiselle.’” He provides no information on his next career move.