Sammy Nickalls
August 16, 2015 8:42 am

Guys, there’s been a fabulous shift in the modeling industry lately, and we are so on board. There’s Tess Holliday, the fab plus-sized model who’s been redefining beauty standards every single day. There’s Madeline Stuart, the 18-year-old model with Down Syndrome set out to change the way the world looks at disabilities, who just landed two new campaigns (including New York Fashion Week!). And now, we have something totally new in the fashion world to be completely pumped about: H&M’s sister brand, & Other Stories, is featuring transgender models in its latest advertising campaign.

The images feature trans models Valentijn De Hingh and Hari Nef, and the label also recruited an all-trans team behind the camera, too. The shoot was photographed by Amos Mac and styled by Love Bailey, while Nina Poon did makeup.

“The fashion world is embracing transgender models and we think that’s great,” creative director Sara Hildén Bengtson said 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.”  The result? Beautiful images that simultaneously explain that the fact that the models are transgender is both the point and besides it.

The behind-the-scenes process, entitled “The Gaze & Other Stories,” was also captured on film. “There’s a lot of talk about transgender [issues] today, but for us, it was a lateral step to do [the campaign],” Bengston told WWD.

According to De Hingh, the bond during the shoot was “immediate and palpable.” “That’s something I haven’t experienced with other shoots, per se, where I’ve worked with other teams, other models, multiple girl stories, where you work with each other professionally and you like each other and have good conversation, but it’s not the same thing as working with an all-trans team,” she told WWD.

De Hingh is confident that this shoot will be something that has lasting results in representation of transgender youth. “Sometimes to get a political message across, having a commercial brand support an issue can actually help,” De Hingh explained to WWD. “The thing that you have to be worried about is that it’s not just a fad. It’s not a fashion trend to have transgender people in a youth campaign, then after two seasons not have them anymore. 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.”

We completely agree. We totally love this shoot and everything it stands for. If you want to purchase the clothing featured in the line, you don’t have long to wait: It will be available in stores and online on August 20th.

(Images via Twitter.)

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