Today marks a year since Caitlyn Jenner made her Vanity Fair debut and it’s safe to say there’s been a palpable surge in transgender awareness since that groundbreaking cover. Although the Spring 2016 runways and ad campaigns featured disappointingly few transgender models, Caitlyn herself became the face of H&M Sport. This year saw the continued success of TLC’s I am Jazz as well as the renewal of Amazon’s Transparent, both of which boast transgender leads. Plus, just a week ago, Whoopi Goldberg announced her involvement in a reality series centered on transgender models trying to make it in the fashion biz.
Models who, no doubt, look up to Hari Nef. Today, cult label Mansur Gavriel revealed the model and well-known transgender activist as the star of its first high-profile campaign. Designers Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel have gained a loyal following thanks to their impeccable taste and products — their eponymous bags are constantly selling out. Given their industry know-how, the designers’ choice of Nef is totally unsurprising. After all, the 23-year-old had a year to rival Caitlyn’s: She earned her theater degree from Columbia University, became the first American trans woman to join IMG, walked the runways at Gucci, Hood By Air and H&M, and made her acting debut in the aforementioned Amazon series.
“We think Hari is very beautiful and were excited to shoot her,” said Rachel and Floriana. “She is real and has great energy.” The sun-drenched, blue-skied photos were shot by sisters Tanya and Zhenya Posternak at Fort Tilden (once, like the brand itself, a well-kept secret). In their bright simplicity, they showcase Nef’s beauty, along with Mansur Gavriel’s latest offerings, the Sun bag and a mini bucket bag in bright cherry red.
Our feelings are mixed: As much as we love Hari, we didn’t need anyone else drawing attention to these already-impossible-to-procure accessories.
[ via the Cut ]