Retailer uses trans creatives to ‘broaden the view on gender in fashion’

The tide has slowly been turning when it comes to transgender creatives in designer fashion over the last few years, but the high street has been slow to follow.

However that may be changing as online retailer & Other Stories, an H&M Group brand offering affordable, ready-to-wear clothing, shoes and accessories, invited five transgender creatives to “tell a story that broadens the view on gender in fashion.”

& Other Stories transgender creatives

Photo credit: & Other Stories

More: Transgender equality is first inquiry for Women and Equalities committee

Models Valentijn De Hingh and Hari Nef, stylist Love Bailey and photographers Amos Mac and Nina Poon collaborated to tell a story that challenges the traditional perception of beauty and identity in the fashion world.

“I want to break free from gender constraints,” said Valentijn De Hingh, who has appeared in Love and Vogue Italia and walked for shows including Martin Margiela and Commes des Garçons.

“Fashion has played a huge role when constructing my identity,” said Hari Nef, who is signed to major model agency IMG and made her runway debut in February walking for brands like Hood By Air, VFiles, Degen and Adam Selman.

Stylist Love Bailey sums it up: “Breaking those barriers of male and female, black and white, we have to embrace the colour spectrum of life, you know: it’s a rainbow.”

“Fashion is all about what you’re comfortable in,” added Amos Mac.

& Other Stories transgender creatives

Photo credit: & Other Stories

Video credit: andotherstories/YouTube

More: ModCloth names first transgender model

Trans people making a splash in the fashion industry in recent years include Lea T, who is considered to be one of Italy’s top models, was named as one of Forbes’ “12 Women who have changed Italian fashion” and is the current face of Redken’s hair campaigns.

Isis King was the first trans model on America’s Next Top Model and has since appeared in Seventeen, Out and Candy magazine’s 2014 issue.

Aydian Dowling was the first trans to come top in a reader-voted competition to select Men’s Health’s next cover star, has replicated Adam Levine’s famous nude pose for Cosmo UK and appeared on Ellen.

Transgender model Andreja Pejic made history by becoming the first transgender model to land a major beauty deal earlier this year by becoming the new face of Make Up Forever.

More: Andreja Pejic becomes first-ever trans model profiled in Vogue (PHOTO)

And of course 65-year-old Caitlyn Jenner — the most talked about trans person of 2015 — was photographed by Annie Leibovitz and unveiled as Vanity Fair’s June cover star.

Last month it was announced that Thailand-based agency Apple Model Management, which has represented trans models, is opening a branch in Los Angeles to exclusively represent trans women and men.

Each of these steps and achievements takes us one step closer towards a non-binary fashion industry that is truly reflective of the world we live in. The high street has a long way to go before it catches up with the catwalk but & Other Stories’ transgender “story” is one significant — and very stylish — step forward.