Arin Andrews, Edie Charles, Valentijn de Hingh, Ashley de la Cruz, Sawyer Devuyst, Peche Di, Dezjorn Gauthier, Trevon Haynes, Katie Hill, Eve Lindley, Niki M’nray, Ryley Pogensky, Ines Rau, May Simon, Ahya Taylor, Maxie Neu, and Gisele Xtravaganza. These seventeen extraordinary men and women, transgender individuals with diverse experiences and unique personal stories, are the faces of Barneys New York’s Spring 2014 campaign, Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters, shot in New York by Bruce Weber.
Below, you can learn more about the featured models—their stories are, plainly put, incredible. This archive will be updated daily through February 11th, so be sure to check back. And to read about this collaborative campaign in greater detail, head to our first profile, Arin Andrews and Katie Hill.
If I could describe my life pre-transition, I was a ticking time bomb, ready to explode. There was no doubt in my mind that I was a woman, although everybody in the world kept telling me otherwise.
I was actually on my way to a dance recital, in the car, and I said, “Hey mom, do you know what transgender means?” I had been doing research for about a year, to really know what I was getting myself into. I said, “I think that’s what I am. I think I’m transgender.”
ASHLEY DE LA CRUZ
I’m twenty-four years old. I live in Harlem. My background—Dominican descent. I’m sort of a homebody. Don’t go out much. Keep to myself. I majored in psychology in college.
My name is my own creation. I’m of French-Irish-African-American ancestry. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I’m twenty-two.
My concept of gender and sexuality has always been very fluid. I grew up in a very supportive environment and the transition was met with little resistance.
In some families only one parent approves of a child’s gender switch—in my case, my birth mother didn’t go for it. My parents got divorced when I was two. Dad and she had joint custody…but by the time I was in the seventh grade I’d moved full-time to my Dad’s and I was raised by him and my super stepmom Andy.
When I decided to become a woman I was obsessed. I was born and raised in Paris, but my roots are from North Africa—Algiers. I’d been thinking about transitioning for as long as I can remember.
My name is Gisele Alicea. I was raised in Harlem. I am also known as Gisele Xtravaganza and I’m one of the mothers of the House of Xtravaganza in New York.
I was born a boy in Tulsa, Oklahoma. That’s Bible Belt country. I was the oldest son of a Marine lieutenant. I always knew deep down I was a female trapped in a male body. I hated my body. I never felt right in it.
I am 20 years old. I grew up in a small town in southern Germany. I knew my entire life I was really a girl, and finally I couldn’t control the impulse to be feminine.
I was born in Argentina. I’m eighteen years old. I live in Denmark for the moment, but traveling around waiting to decide my next destination. My father is a psychiatrist; my mother teaches meditation—they have different opinions about what I’ve been going through.
I was born in Iran but I grew up in L.A. I knew I should be a girl when I was very little, but it seemed like such a far-fetched idea—it never occurred to me that I could actually ever change.
I was born in Bangkok, but spent my summers in Phuket—it’s the largest island belonging to Thailand off the Indian Ocean. During the summer we lived next to the beach and I developed a love for swimming. I remember swimming every single day of my childhood in a huge blue rippling pool.
I’m a blogger, a freelance social media marketer, and an LGBTQ party and event promoter. My events range from parties to fundraisers whose purpose is to fund transgender folks’ surgery costs.
I was born and raised in Northern New Jersey. My dad was a woodworker; he and the rest of my family are born-again Christians.
I was born and raised in the Bronx. I’m twenty-nine years old. I always knew I was male, always. My mother must have guessed it; she kept dressing me as a boy instead of a little girl.
VALENTIJN DE HINGH
I was born and raised in Lelystad, a small town forty minutes above Amsterdam. For four years I’ve lived in Amsterdam, and I will always live in this glorious city. Amsterdam accepts me as I am, twenty-three years old, a six-foot-two-inch-tall transgender woman who was once born with a man’s body.
On February 11th, Barneys New York is pleased to donate 10% of all sales from its 11 flagship stores nationwide and Barneys.com to the LGBT Community Center in New York City and the National Center for Transgender Equality.