“What is between my legs is not thoroughly who I am. If gender is black and white, I’m grey,” says Ryley Pogensky, a gender queer model participating in Barney’s New York’s new campaign. Pogensky is one of almost twenty transgender and gender queer models featured in the catalog and ad images, shot by the legendary Bruce Weber.
Each model has a story to tell, hailing from communities across the globe. Culturally, socio-economically, and even professionally—some are not professional models—they compose a richly diverse group. Dressed to the nines in the likes of Balenciaga and Manolo Blahnik, they are revealed through Weber’s iconic lens in tones that highlight profound beauties and personal triumphs.
The moving choice to include the models’ family members and support systems serves in part as a visual reminder of how far our society must come in recognizing equality and ending gender-based violence and ignorance. Dennis Freedman, the creative force behind the shots wants to raise awareness with his work; he tells The New York Times, “I was exquisitely aware that in the last decade, the L.G.B. communities have made extraordinary advances, and the transgender community has not shared in that progress.” This is a step in the right direction.
Thanks to The New York Times
Images via The New York Times