FASHION NEWS: BARNEY’S 17 TRANSGENDER AD CAMPAIGN
Luxury retailer Barney’s made waves across the nation when they opted for a bold direction in their Spring/Summer 2014 catalog and print ads. Their groundbreaking spring campaign, “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters,” featured 17 transgender individuals. With the big movement for LGBT support shifting through the fashion industry, Barneys’ decision to embark in such a direction was ultimately fearless – which is just the word to describe the 17 individuals who showed the world their true colors. Hand in hand with this year’s male and female friendly Pantone Radiant Orchid color, the move for androgynous apparel that has been hitting shelves far and near.
The campaign photographed by iconic Bruce Weber and interviewed by Vanity Fair’s contributing editor, Patricia Bosworth, all took place in the heart of New York City. Each individual’s profile ran on Barney’s website for a couple of weeks after its initial release and a documentary will soon air featuring the entire project.
“We’re all conscious in the last couple of years of all the strides that gays and lesbians are making in marriage equality, and it seemed that the ‘T’ in LGBT was getting a little bit left behind,” Barneys C.E.O. Mark Lee explained about why the time was right for this project. Barneys New York is proud to support the transgender community by telling a few of their incredible stories.
Dennis Freeman, who constructed the campaign idea, stated that his main goal was to create awareness of the transsexual community, which has remained hush-hushed even though gay men and lesbians have slowly begun to gain mainstream acceptance.
“I was exquisitely aware that in the last decade, the L.G.B. communities have made extraordinary advances, and the transgender community has not shared in that progress,” he told the New York Times. It’s true — even as transgender people gain visibility, the way in which the media tends to cover trans* issues ranges from ignorant to utterly deplorable.
The campaign has donated 10% of all their sales from its flagship stores nationwide on February 11th to the LGBT Center in New York City and the National Center for Transgender Equality. Much of the campaign was filmed and photographed around the models and non-models with their family, friends, and loved ones. Weber was able to capture the oppression and triumphs, a trans person might face in relation to their gender identity.
“I stand in awe of their courage to face the world,” said photographer Bruce Weber of the campaign.