Valentijn De Hingh: Don't make trans a gimmick
Valentijn De Hingh has warned fashion houses not to make transgender models a fad.
The Dutch model was born a male and was the focus of documentary Valentine, which followed her from the age of eight as she transitioned into a female.
Since starting her career she has worked with the likes of Martin Margiela and Love Magazine, though her latest job had a different vibe. She features in ads for & Other Stories' new athletic-inspired capsule collection alongside fellow transgender model Hari Nef and is pleased the industry is becoming more diverse.
“Sometimes to get a political message across, having a commercial brand support an issue can actually help... The thing that you have to be worried about is that it’s not just a fad," she told WWD. "It’s not a fashion trend to have transgender people in a youth campaign, then after two seasons not have them anymore.”
& Other Stories' creative director Sara Hildén Bengtsson describes the move as a "lateral step" for the brand. Styled by Love Bailey and make-up artist Nina Poon and shot by photographer Amos Mac, the concept of the campaign was to focus on the transgender "gaze". Things are kept simple, with the two women modelling pieces such as white flared trousers, a green mac jacket and a metallic orange fleece with what appears to be an empty apartment as the backdrop.
Valentijn thoroughly enjoyed the vibe on set.
“[There was] a bond that’s immediate and palpable. That’s something I haven’t experienced with other shoots, per se, where I’ve worked with other teams, other models, multiple girl stories, where you work with each other professionally and you like each other and have good conversation, but it’s not the same thing as working with an all-trans team," she added.