Barneys Spring Ad Campaign Features Transgender People

The retailer hopes the ads will elevate trans acceptance.

By Aura Bogado Jan 30, 2014

Barneys New York doesn’t exactly conjure feelings of inclusion. Just three months ago, Trayon Christian, a black college student, filed a lawsuit against the exclusive retailer after he says Barneys racially profiled him, causing him to be detained for two hours after purchasing an expensive belt. 

But the luxury department store now has a campaign that features transgender people–most of whom are not professional models–to grace its catalog and advertisements. According to The New York Times, which details the campaign:

Alongside photographs of the subjects, many taken with family members, pets and other members of their support networks, the catalog also features excerpts from interviews with the participants by the journalist Patricia Bosworth, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and the biographer of Diane Arbus.

Ranging in age from 17 to "early 30s," their races, socioeconomic positions and places on the transgender spectrum vary.

The ads will run in the Times as well as Vanity Fair. According to TIME, the company’s execs came up with the idea a year ago to "raise acceptance of trans individuals."