I was raised to understand that difficult days are always a chance to learn. I can honestly tell you that the past few days have been a learning experience.
There are many threads out there about a recent modeling shoot for some new prints. I want to set the record straight. Two weeks ago, we organized a photo shoot for new underwear prints. We engaged our usual modeling agency to supply talent for the shoot and we sent a brief to the agency confirming pronouns, the product print names we would be shooting, and information to prepare for the shoot such as the studio address. Since Trinity had requested to be listed as both a woman and man and available for both gender shoots, the agency selected him for the TomboyX shoot. The agency gave Trinity and another model copies of the call sheet for the photo session. The call sheet listed the products to be modeled. Both models had to have the call sheet to gain access to the shoot. This is standard procedure.
We were very happy that Trinity was selected. Trinity is an excellent model that we have worked with in the past. It is our understanding that at the shoot, Trinity told the creative team that he was uncomfortable wearing the Womxn Print. The team understood his discomfort and agreed that Trinity would not model that print. They asked him if he would be comfortable wearing the Arcade print for the shoot. Trinity agreed and the shoot continued. Later, Trinity informed us that a poster being used as a prop for the Womxn Print, was not representative or inclusive of all women. The poster was removed from the shoot immediately. We thanked him for his input and the shoot continued.
When the shoot ended, we selected a picture for our Instagram Story that included the cat poster but did not include Trinity. This was a poor decision and we apologize that the cat poster made it to our Instagram. Once we realized that the image was on our Story, we made the decision to delete the post.
We want to challenge the binary and push fashion and comfort forward for everyone on the gender spectrum. In this instance, Trinity informed us he was not comfortable, and we did our best to make him comfortable. In his opinion we failed, and we apologize that he felt hurt. However, we are listening and learning. I have scheduled a meeting with Trinity to further understand the source of his discomfort and how we can do better.
We can honestly and sincerely say that it is always our intent to support the trans community and our entire team is saddened. We have been an active supporter of trans rights for years and have an ongoing relationship with the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). We are reaching out to our friends at NCTE to work on establishing industry guidelines for communicating with transgender people in the workplace. As CEO, I can make a promise to our transgender customers. We are there for you, we value your input and we remain your ally.
- Fran Dunaway, CEO, Co-Founder, TomboyX