A ‘ONE OF A KIND’ CAMPAIGN
Conceptualized and shot by top photographer Bettina Rheims, Sisley’s FW17 campaign challenges gender stereotypes with grace and sensitivity.
Treviso, July 2017. #oneofakind is the hashtag that units all Sisley’s FW17 ad campaign output. It references Sisley’s unique style, the models chosen for the campaign and Bettina Rheims, one of modern photography’s most original, eclectic and provocative personalities.
A group of people dressed in iconic Sisley outfits pose in a warehouse, in front of a series of wooden crates of the kind usually used to transport great works of art. A closer look reveals that all of the models challenge gender stereotypes.
Among them are transgender models Stav Strashko and Casil McArthur, gender-fluid American Rain Dove (who has posed in both male and female attire in the past), and unique, androgynous beauties Fernanda Beuker, Sohyun Jung, Adela Stenberg and Freddie Ashcroft.
The set design emphasises how gender is still a question to “handle with care”, while the cast questions the observer about the clichés regarding masculinity and femininity in today’s society. It is a decisive step by Sisley, who once again choose to tackle society’s prejudices by showing individuals for what they are.
“To open up new paths, it’s essential to provoke people’s reactions and feelings, even anger or fear”, says French photographer Bettina Rheims. During her career, Rheims has had to contend with the prejudices of a field dominated by men who had had difficulty accepting her strong style, often viewed as “masculine”.
In 1990, Rheims published the cult book Modern Lovers, featuring black and white portraits of young people with an androgynous look. “There was a moment, a single moment, in which they were both man and woman” recalls the photographer. “I just had time to take the photograph before that fleeting impression vanished”. It is an important step for the Italian fashion brand, known for its rebellious personality and unconventional points of view.
“It is exceptional and generous for a fashion brand like Sisley to take such an emphatic stand on the question of gender”, concludes Rheims. “I hope that this campaign contributes to spotlight these fantastic people and give them an even stronger voice”.
About Rain Dove:
Taking the modeling industry by storm, androgynous model Rain Dove walks in both menswear and womenswear fashion shows. Rain Dove is a model, an activist and actor. Challenging gender stereotypes, Rain feels empowered by sexuality and is not afraid to fight for equality. In an interview with Buzzfeed, Rain stated, “We’re all struggling to be unique and the most unique thing you can be is yourself. The gender thing doesn’t exist; it’s a social construct you don’t have to fit into. There are people who love you; there are people who will love you. There are people who accept you and I’m one of them.”