Like throngs of young women before her, Peche Di came to New York chasing runway dreams. “I’d drop off my portfolio and never get called back,” says the Thailand native. She faced standard model criticisms (her just-tall-enough five-foot-seven stature, for example), but if you ask her, the rejection likely had to do with being transgender. So last March, Di teamed up with two friends—artist and interior designer Dorothy Palmer and sociology lecturer Roi Ben-Yehuda—and founded Trans Models, an agency solely for transgender talent, one of only three in the country. The company first recruited Di's trans friends, but now it has 19 signed models, two makeup artists (one does hair, too) and a stylist. “I don’t need a lot of models,” says Di. “We’re looking for people who understand our goal.” The models have landed campaigns for Budweiser and Smirnoff, and Di is working on a TV channel and an all-trans fashion show in November. On a breezy Friday afternoon, we join the team in Palmer’s sprawling Union Square loft, which doubles as Trans Models’ office. Beneath high ceilings and huge windows, there are racks of Alice + Olivia, Helmut Lang and Topshop duds and a table covered in a rainbow of eye shadow. The six star models handpicked by Di for our shoot groove to Katy Perry, Drake and Beyoncé, but they’re total professionals. Next, Di & Co. will be heading to New York Fashion Week in February, and there are even whispers of an upcoming reality series. Not bad for an eight-month-old company.