H&M sister brand & Other Stories this week launched a transgender inclusive advertising campaign.
The video includes models Valentijn de Hugh and Hari Nef taking part in a photo shoot for their new capsule collection.
All those involved with the shoot are also transgender: photographer Amos Mac (editor of trans magazine Original Plumbing), stylist Love Bailey and make-up artists Nina Poon.
De Hugh says
I think it’s so weird that when we are born the first thing that we are, even before we have a name, or an identity, we are either male or female, before you even know anything about the person who was just born.
Being born male or being born female decides so much about who you are allowed to be in life. And I just don’t want to live under those constraints. I want to break free from those.”
Hari Nef added
Fashion has played a huge role in my process of constructing my identity. Fashion can apply to a wider audience of people and maybe it will lose its reputation as the scary, esoteric club where if you’re not skinny, white, thin, cis-gender, able-bodied and rich, you can’t participate.”
In a press statement about the campaign, & Other Stories’ creative director Sara Hildén Bengtson said:
The fashion world is embracing transgender models and we think that’s great. 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 advert has been praised by the Human Rights Campaign, who applauded the fact that H&M have become a transgender-inclusive workplace.
H&M earned a 70 [out of 100] on the 2015 Corporate Equality Index, HRC’s survey and report benchmarking corporate policies, practices and benefits related to LGBT inclusion. H&M’s transgender specific workplace initiatives include non-discrimination protection based on gender identity and the company offers transgender inclusive healthcare coverage.”