For its spring advertising campaign, Barneys New York photographed 17 transgender men and women. In addition to the photographs, each model’s personal story has been told by Vanity Fair contributing editor Patricia Bosworth. Usually, Barneys’ campaigns are presented in a mailer. This one will come as a portfolio with 32 plates that were printed in Italy.
There will also be several short films and a 15-minute video that will live on Barneys’ Web site.
Brothers, Sisters, Sons and Daughters, as the ad campaign is called, was photographed in black-and-white by Bruce Weber. “I hope that my photographs and films of these 17 new friends, who are transgender men and women, convey the respect I have for them and how I stand in awe of their courage to face the world,” Weber said.
Dennis Freedman, creative director of Barneys, said the desire to use transgender models had “a lot to do with the realization 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.”
Freedman said that from the beginning, the campaign was not going to be simply photographs. “It was essential that we be able to let all the young men and women tell their stories,” he said.
Barneys partnered with two organizations in the transgender movement — the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center. Barneys on Feb. 11 will donate 10 percent of sales from its flagships and barneys.com to the organizations.
Barneys spent six weeks casting talent. “We ended up finding men and women all over the world,” Freedman said. “Amsterdam, England, Detroit, Milwaukee.”
Freedman wanted Weber to photograph the campaign because “he connects emotionally with his subjects,” he said. “We wanted people to really get to know who these men and women are.”
In one photo, Edie Charles, a transgender woman, wears J.Mendel embroidered beaded top, miniskirt and Manolo Blahnik pumps. She’s sitting beside her brother, Matthew, who’s holding an iguana. “It definitely made me feel really good about myself because it’s something that’s never been done before,” said Ahya Taylor, another model, who describes transitioning as a “lifelong journey. It was cool to wear pieces from very well-known designers. I loved the clothes and felt really elegant and beautiful.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast