Groundbreaking Barneys Spring campaign features 17 transgender models
Same Love wins Best Video
with a Social Message.
Posted in: News Stateman
Barneys has launched their 2014 Spring-Summer range with a campaign featuring 17 transgender models, shot by Bruce Weber in New York.As Katharine K Zarella at style.com notes, Barneys aren't the first brand to use transgender models (transgender model Lea T appeared in Givenchy’s ads in 2010).
But the decision to theme the entire shoot around gender identity and individuality is noteworthy in itself.The campaign, which is titled “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters”, includes 17 transgender models, many of whom are photographed with their family and friends.
It was done in partnership with the National Center for Transgender Equality and the LGBT Community Center in the US, and the announcement on the Barneys website states that the aim is “to help break stereotypes and build social acceptance of transgender people”.
Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman told WWD that the choice to feature transgender models had “a lot to do with the realisation that such extraordinary progress has been made in the last few years for the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community, but it’s striking how the transgender community has been left behind. It’s disturbing and upsetting to see that.”
Marriage equality anthem Same Love has been recognised for its powerful social messaging at the MTV Video Music Awards.
The Macklemore and Ryan Lewis track has reached over 80 million views on YouTube and has become the anthem for marriage equality campaigns around the world.
“To watch this song in the last year spread across the world is a testament to what is happening right now in America on the forefront of equality,” said Macklemore on accepting the award. “Gay rights are human rights, there is no separation.”
Openly gay NBA basketball player, Jason Collins introduced Macklmore and Ryan Lewis who performed the hit alongside Mary Lambert and surprise guest Jennifer Hudson.
In an interview on New York City radio station Hot 97, the day before the Awards, Macklemore spoke of the importance of using hip hop to speak to social issues and says it was important for him to speak out against homophobia.
“I think that looking at the hip-hop community, and holding myself accountable in the hip-hop community, was what I cared about,” he says, “That’s my community; that’s who I see to be oppressing gay people…Homophobia is still rampant in the hip-hop community and it just gets the co-sign.”
Since the release of Same Love in 2012 Macklemore says: “The last year has gotten a lot better, but for so long, it was just an issue that nobody touched on.”
| Sarah Murphy