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Barneys Launches Spring Campaign Featuring Transgender Models, and their Families


Thank Barneys New York for Supporting Transgender People: Barneys New York became the first major retailer to launch a campaign exclusively featuring the lives and stories of diverse transgender models and their family members. The campaign, called “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters,” was shot by renowned American fashion photographer and filmmaker Bruce Weber whose photographs have also appeared in GQ, Vogue, and Rolling Stone covering brands like Calvin Klein, Versace, and Ralph Lauren. Each model was interviewed by longtime arts journalist, and Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair, Patricia Bosworth. The Spring 2014 campaign created a safe space for models from diverse walks of life--from African American Ball culture in NYC to life in Tulsa, Oklahoma--to share their empowering struggles and inspiring victories. These stories highlight the enduring connections and support of family, friends, and community members that showcase the deep roots of transgender people in American culture and society.

As part of NCTE’s ongoing work to educate workplaces about their obligations to address anti-transgender discrimination, the National Center for Transgender Equality provided cultural competency training to Barneys New York corporate staff in headquarters and with floor associates in retail locations across the country. NCTE, along with the LGBT Center of New York, will receive half of 10% of all sales from Barneys’ 11 flagship stores nationwide and on February 11th. The campaign represents an important step by a major cultural institution to humanize the lives of transgender people. Join us in thanking Barneys New York for their inclusion of transgender people. Read NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling’s forward in the campaign look book.

Many Americans view transgender people as different or even exotic. Outdated stereotypes of our community make it hard for us to show the full picture of our lives, families, and our contributions. And assumptions about how we should look have too often dictated how we should live. But what is lost in the stereotypes and assumptions are the human connections between our lives and our families, friends, and communities.

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) works to end the stereotypes and educate our neighbors and fellow Americans about real transgender lives. On the pages that follow, you will see transgender people whose presence in fashion of this caliber is a statement about our community’s roots in culture and society. Barneys is helping to tell the stories of good people making their mark in this industry and beyond.

Indeed, humanizing who we are is a big part of what’s needed to build social acceptance of transgender people. As a national policy and advocacy organization, we know that cultural progress often precedes political change. NCTE has seen that time and again over the last decade from the front lines of the fights that affirm our basic rights. The images and words you see in the following pages are an important step in humanizing transgender people. This will help ensure that the forward-moving cultural needle tips the scale of social change, and we are grateful to Barneys to share this partnership.

We hope you enjoy learning more about the transgender models in this collection—their strength, integrity and beauty.

— M A R A K E I S L I N G, founding Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality

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