Barneys has just done something truly inspired and unprecedented for SS14: the American department store has chosen 17 transgendered models to front its campaign and catalogue.
Photographed by Bruce Weber in New York, the Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters campaign features both models and non-professionals from all over the trans spectrum: there’s people like Ryley Pogensky, a party promotor who identifies as genderqueer, and others, like signed model Valentijn de Hingh, who have transitioned and undergone gender reassignment surgery.
Dennis Freedman, the creative director of Barneys, told the New York Times that the campaign came about out of the desire to raise awareness of the trans community. “I was exquisitely aware that in the last decade, the L.G.B. (lesbian, gay and bisexual) communities have made extraordinary advances, and the transgender community has not shared in that progress,” he said.
In the catalogue, each black-and-white portrait is accompanied by thoughtful and touching interviews with the models by author and Vanity Fair contributing editor Patricia Bosworth. They include a profile of Katie Hill and Arin Andrews, the trans teenagers who gained worldwide media attention as young couple (you can read an excerpt of their interview here). Barneys are also planning to release video profiles of its models. Here's Katie and Arin:
The campaign also features Edie Charles, Ashley de la Cruz, Sawyer Devuyst, Peche Di, Dezjorn Gauthier, Trevon Haynes, Eve Lindley, Niki M’nray, Ines Rau, May Simon, Ahya Taylor, Maxie Neu and Gisele Xtravaganza.
10 per cent of all Barneys sales from February 11 will also be donated to the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center. Both organisations partnered with Barneys to create the campaign.