H&M’s sister brand & Other Stories has published their autumn campaign entirely put together by an all-transgender team. Models Hari Nef and Valentijn De Hingh were shot by Amos Mac, styled by Love Bailey and made up by Nina Poon for the campaign. & Other Stories follows examples set by Barneys New York and Make Up Forever. Last year the former cast 17 trans models for a spring campaign shot by Bruce Weber, whilst Make Up Forever is fronted by Andreja Pejic, one of the first transgender models to break into the mainstream. The forward-thinking Swedish brand has staked out further new territory by extending the trans presence across the entire campaign production.
“The fashion world is embracing transgender models and we think that’s great,” said creative director Sara Hildén Bengtson in a press release. “But we couldn’t help to ask ourselves how the traditional fashion gaze can change if we keep the same normative crew behind the camera. So we invited five amazing creatives, all transgender, to make our latest story.”
Whilst a campaign of this kind certainly celebrates progress, it also speaks of the unprecedented media spotlight that has fallen on trans culture this year. With Caitlyn Jenner’s history-making Vanity Fair cover and Laverne Cox’s Time cover, the subject is perhaps running dangerously close to being treated as a fad. However, speaking to WWD, Valentin De Hingh explained, “I think that the way things are moving right now, it’s looking like even when the fad is over there will still be awareness of our story and our issues.”
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