When Hannah lived as a man, she worked on Wall Street with a woman who would sometimes wear a black Hervé Léger bandage dress. The image of the littlest of L.B.D.’s—an indelible relic from the bygone Linda-Cindy-Christy era—is stored deep in the G-Drive of her hippocampus. “It was like armor,” Hannah remembers as we shop for a new look in San Francisco. “And at the same time, the opposite of armor. It revealed and accentuated exactly who she was.”
I meet up with Hannah and Maya Deschamps-Braly near Union Square. With her dark hair parted by bobby pins, Hannah (who asked to be identified only by her first name) resembles Neve Campbell in The Craft. She is in head-to-toe black; her cropped T-shirt has a pentagram circled by the words Today’s the day, Satan!, and it screeches to a halt at her final rib. Deschamps-Braly has fashioned a voluminous camel coat into a dress that is held together by a quilted Chanel bag. Hannah is from where they filmed Jersey Shore; Deschamps-Braly is from Paris, by way of Bulgaria. Hannah is a trans woman returning to tech after a sabbatical; Deschamps-Braly is a cis woman, former model, and altruist whose primary tool is her considerable superpowers of stylishness. “It’s feels good to use clothing in a purposeful way,” she says.