The fashion industry is notoriously rife with body image issues, health problems, and supplying audiences with models that fulfill a singular, specific beauty ideal. Barneys New York is refusing to run with the pack by choosing transgendered models for their spring 2014 collection ads.
In a project called “Brothers, Sisters, Sons and Daughters,” Barneys is asking transgendered models to not only pose in the latest designer fashions but also to share their stories in a series of interviews on the collection’s website. The models in the campaign are Arin Andrews, Edie Charles, Valentijn de Hingh, Ashley de la Cruz, Sawyer Devuyst, Peche Di, Dezjorn Gauthier, Trevon Haynes, Katie Hill, Eve Lindley, Niki M’nray, Ryley Pogensky, Ines Rau, May Simon, Ahya Taylor, Maxie Neu, and Gisele Xtravaganza. They are of different races, nationalities, and socioeconomic strata, but all seventeen of them identify as transgender.
Barneys is not only raising awareness, it’s putting its money where its mouth is. 10% of the sales placed on February 11 at Barneys flagship stores or online will be donated to the National Center for Transgender Equality. The website will also finish putting up all interviews with the models on the same day.