When a model makes their debut in a major fashion campaign, it is usually something worth noting. But when a model’s debut means a chance at more inclusivity, that’s something worth celebrating.
According to Bustle, “Shay Neary is the first trans plus size model to land a major fashion campaign,” starring in a spring/summer 2017 collaboration with UK-based retailer, Yours Clothing.
The brand, which offers “modern, funky plus-size clothing up to a size 36,” according to Mic, hand-selected Neary to front the campaign, which aims to connect all people to fashion regardless of their size or their gender identity. When Neary was tapped to help in this mission, Mic says she made inclusivity a top priority.
“In January, we started collaborating on a project for a simple guide for transgender customers,” Neary said. “They have a large clientele of trans individuals, and happen to get a lot of questions for advice on how to dress. Of course I wanted to be a part of this. Any form of guidance is always helpful when you’re starting your transition. I picked out clothes I thought represented my own style, and they sent me them.”
In Neary’s collection for Yours Clothing, she also made sure to include a range of styles to suit many tastes, with pieces offered in bold florals to edgy rocker looks, says Bustle. What’s more is that Neary seems to have found a perfect match in working with the retailer, reports Bustle, offering that they are not creating an inclusive market “for the ticket. They’re doing it because they genuinely understand their consumer.”
As for Neary herself, she is also not just doing it for the ticket; she told Bustle that she hopes other trans people see her and know that they can celebrate themselves.
“I come from an older generation of trans people, where you were fearful to be spotted for being trans,” she said. “I focused on passability. Now, what I want to tell trans [people] is just be yourself. Whatever comes along with that, be yourself. You don’t have to hit either side of the [gender] margin, and your style can represent that. If you want to put on a dress and a blazer, you rock that.”
Way to go, Shay!