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  • Bruce Weber

I was so excited to see Barneys NY's latest ad campaign, Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters. In addition to being stunning and directional as always, the campaign is taking strides to increase transgender visibility in fashion. Shot by Bruce Weber, the series features seventeen regular (if above average in the gorgeousness department) people who have, or are transitioning. Along with the standard high-gloss editorial photos, the campaign includes videos and autobiographies on each of the models, to be rolled out over the next two weeks on the retailer's blog.

While the fashion industry has a long history of championing gay and lesbian rights - from the early days in the fight against AIDS to the current same-sex marriage battle - the trans* community has largely been overlooked, as is reflective of society at large. Barneys marketing exec Denis Freedman explained to 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 that progress." The fact is, transgender people face rates of unemployment, homelessness, assault and homicide that are disproportionate even to the rest of the queer community (the numbers for trans* women of color are especially dire).

What makes this campaign so moving, though, is that while each of the participants speaks on the hardships they've faced, there is an overall tone of hope and positivity. They also highlight the love and support they have in their lives, as well as the happiness that comes with living authentically. The photos depict subjects affectionately interacting with each other and loved ones, while looking super-chic in Balenciaga and St. Laurent.

In addition to the campaign, on February 11 Barneys will donate 10% of proceeds from its flagship stores and website to the National Center For Transgender Equality and the New York based LGBT Community Center. So, you know, worth supporting if you have a Barneys-level clothing budget.

Check out some of the photos below:

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  • Bruce Weber

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  • Bruce Weber

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  • Bruce Weber