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Lana Wachowski Marc Jacobs SS16
Lana Wachowski for Marc Jacobs SS16@themarcjacobs via Instagram

Trans director Lana Wachowski fronts Marc Jacobs campaign

‘The Matrix’ director is the first of a series of SS16 campaign stars, all of whom Jacobs claims ‘embody and celebrate the spirit and beauty of equality’

If there’s one man in the fashion industry that knows how to make headlines with casting choices, it’s Marc Jacobs. After all, this is the man that last year created one of 2015’s most memorable campaigns, enlisting a star-studded cast that included Winona Ryder, Sofia Coppola and Cher for AW15. It seems the designer is keen to outdo himself this season, choosing transgender director Lana Wachowski as the first face of his David Sims-lensed SS16 campaign (to be unveiled in full next month). Jacobs also hinted that these images could be a landmark moment in fashion, promising to spotlight a “spectrum of individuals... which personify this collection of fashion through their individuality. Collectively, they embody and celebrate the spirit and beauty of equality.”

Lana, alongside her brother Andy, is responsible for The Matrix trilogy (1999-2003) as well as V for Vendetta (2006), and is a pioneer for trans women in the film industry. She first caught the eye of Jacobs at the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award back in 2012, where she gave an impassioned acceptance speech which the designer went on to describe as “utterly profound.” Jacobs goes on to profess his admiration for Wachowski in a press release which credits her speech with the expression of “thoughts and ideas that have filled my head and heart always, but have never been so eloquently captured in language so tangible, intelligent, poignant and full of possibility.”

The casting choice is another step forwards for trans representation in the fashion industry. In a recent interview published on Dazed, we spoke to trans models who voiced concerns that the community was being fetishised or pigeonholed as nothing more than an aesthetic by the fashion industry. The fact that Jacobs was drawn to Wachowski by her intellectual point of view and inspiring backstory shows a willingness to cast diverse role models and use publicity surrounding campaigns as an opportunity to promote awareness. 

Watch Marc Jacobs’ SS16 show below and check out the gallery above for images from the event: