Barneys New York campaigns are usually pretty safe — its most controversial one yet was that time it put a slimmed-down Minnie Mouse in Lanvin.
But the luxury retailer has gone in an awesomely bold direction for its spring 2014 catalog and print ads, tapping Bruce Weber to photograph 17 transgender men and women from all over the world, and Vanity Fair‘s Patricia Bosworth to interview each one. Their images and touching stories will be featured in a portfolio (instead of a typical catalog), as well as in magazines and on Barneys’ blog, The Window. Barneys will also unveil several videos, including the one below. The campaign is titled “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters.”
First up are Arin Andrews and Katie Hill (pictured above), the teenaged transgender former couple who made news headlines last summer when their touching love story came out, and again this month when they announced their split (though they still remain friends).
The campaign’s other faces are Edie Charles, Valentijn de Hingh, Ashley de la Cruz, Sawyer Devuyst, Peche Di, Dezjorn Gauthier, Trevon Haynes, Eve Lindley, Niki M’nray, Ryley Pogensky, Ines Rau, May Simon, Ahya Taylor, Maxie Neu and Gisele Xtravaganza.
“Our goal was to convey the strength, beauty and courage of these extraordinary individuals through the iconic photographs and films of Bruce Weber, as well as the insightful writing of Patricia Bosworth,” said Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman in a statement. “Great progress has been made in regards to the lesbian, gay and bisexual community. Unfortunately, the struggle for transgender equality continues. In the end, it is our hope that that we can make a difference through this campaign.”
We love that Barneys did more than simply use these men and women for a visually striking ad campaign, but also allowed them to tell their stories in such a rich way.
On top of that, 10 percent of all Barneys sales from Feb. 11 will be donated to the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, both of which partnered with Barneys on the campaign.