Leave it to Diesel—the European label known for its industrial-chic designs and popular denim line—to be all-inclusive when selecting the faces of its new collection, this time a collaboration with German clothing line About You. Two trans models, named Benjamin Melzer and Loiza Lamers, have signed onto the ad campaign, though it’s neither model’s first modeling gig. Melzer was the first trans model to appear on the cover of Men’s Health Europe (putting the American Men’s Health mag, who nearly put trans model Aydian Dowling on its cover, to shame), while Lamers actually won last year’s Holland’s Next Top Model.
Trans models have seen increased exposure in recent years, which makes Diesel’s decision not all that surprising. A Diesel spokesperson has said Melzer and Lamers “perfectly support the brand’s attitude—free-spirited, against all odds, and fresh young minds.”
Good timing, too, as apparently the two models were in the midst of planning a conceptual photo shoot to raise awareness for trans visibility in modeling when Diesel approached them.
“Someone needs to give somebody a chance, and once that chance is given, that person needs to deliver,” Melzer told Mic.com. “We are proud and honored to be just two of the many given this opportunity and responsibility. … It’s so important right now that we continue to strive and work hard to break through that glass ceiling so transgender men and women are not seen as a fad or hype. We are real people with real professions and should be allowed the same opportunities as everyone else.”
Lamers adds she hopes the campaign “really open[s] people’s eyes and bring[s] a change, acceptance and awareness.”
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