Transgender Models from Barneys Spring Campaign Discuss Race in Fashion [Video]

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We showed you last week the first images from the Barneys New York’s “Brothers, Sisters, Sons and Daughters” campaign featuring 17 transgender models, all from different backgrounds, races and ethnicities.

On Friday, HuffPost Live hosted a group of the models after the advertisement made headlines. Two of the models, Sawyer DeVuyst and Ryley Pogensky, spoke about their experiences in the modeling industry and the influence of the Barneys shoot.

In particular, Pogensky talked about how high fashion overlooks transgender and queer identifying models, but race also plays a part, too.

He explains,

“For myself, personally, it’s been really hard being both black and gender queer.” He adds that agencies are often confused on how to represent him. “The modeling industry for me has always said that I wasn’t something.”

Pogensky and DeVuyst both believe that the Barneys shoot broke down racial barriers in fashion, which Pogensky also noted usually “fetishsizes” people of color. DeVuyst was even ready to turn down the opportunity if the campaign didn’t include a diverse group.

“The week of the shoot, I was still 100 percent ready to walk away and say ‘No, I can’t do it,’ if I had walked into a room with only three people of color and the rest were white.”

And when DeVuyst saw the inclusive group of models, he says it made him “fall in love with the campaign even more.”

Watch the video above to hear more from the models and their stories from the Barneys campaign.

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