Barneys New York features transgendered models in a series of beautiful spring ads
As calls for diversity increasingly infiltrate the fashion industry, it seems like major brands are finally starting to take note. So far, this season has seen a wheelchair-bound model front at Diesel and an increased racial mix at Prada.
The latest to break the mould for Spring 2014 is luxury retailer Barneys New York, whom debuted its “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters” campaign today, which features 17 transgendered people from all walks of life. Shot by legendary boundary-pusher Bruce Weber in New York City, the subjects, often posing with their loved ones, are confident and stylish in the high-end likes of Ann Demeulemeester, Saint Laurent outfits and more.
In one of the first four photos released, we meet Arin Andrews and Katie Hill, transgendered friends and a former couple both raised in the conservative Bible Belt of America. In another, Ahya Taylor is pictured with fellow model Dezjorn Gauthier on a Central Park bench, both wearing Balenciaga.
Slowly but surely, the trans community is gaining a less isolated presence in the media. Back in 2012, Jenna Talackova made headlines as the first transgendered Miss Universe Canada contestant and now has her own television show, Brave New Girls. In 2008, America’s Next Top Model cast trans contestant Isis King. And while not physically transgendered, model Andrej Pejic has blurred gender lines working as both a female and male model.
As part of a whole re-education project, Barneys has partnered with two prominent transgender foundations, to fight stereotypes as well as bring the issue to international attention. The photos are accompanied by videos and interviews with the subjects, highlighting the difficulties and support they’ve come across in their journeys.