Designer Marco Morante made history during New York Fashion Week when he sent a cast of all-trans models down the runway for the Marco Marco show. Photographer Andrew Werner captured behind-the-scenes shots of the entire event.
"I have been covering Fashion Week for a number of years now; every year designers capture a different energy in their collections. With the Marco Marco SS19 collection, the energy of the entire show was bold and full of genuine pride. This energy goes beyond the actual clothing - it exudes from the spirit of the models themselves. This show gave an opportunity to many of them to publically show the world they are proud to be in their own skin—and we saw LOTS of skin! These models bared their truth. As I watched the show, I was deeply moved by this powerful narrative unfolding on the runway – which reminded me of the similar milestones as a member of the LGBTQ community I have had the privilege of celebrating. The Marco Marco collection was the perfect snapshot of the world where time and acceptance is moving in the right direction. I was so excited and honored to share this with everyone involved!"
In addition, he also took the models aside backstage to shoot exclusive portraits for Out. "When models walk down the catwalk, we look at them as they are; focusing on the whole presentation, but mainly what they are wearing. Having the opportunity to converse and shoot with each, 1 on 1 before the show I was able to celebrate the individual. I hope the people who view the portraits see how in only a few frames, I was able to capture the true light and strength in the each of the models. While there is a lot of press and a lot of discussion around trans people (mainly mtf) this moment celebrated 18 trans-men and brought more visibly to the fact that the trans community is two-fold. The model’s scars have become a part of who they are, badges of courage. The look in their eyes is full of strength and confidence – qualities that are intrinsically masculine that I hope reach the viewer."
There's one key message Werner hopes you take away after scrolling through this portrait series.
"I hope that people take away the recognition of others who have different life paths and see them as equals. When you walk down a busy street sometimes you have that magic moment where your eyes meet someone else’s – a perfect stranger and there is a connecting and recognition of seeing their existence and right of being. When people see the portraits – regardless of their own history, political, religious or socio-economic beliefs, and the unknown, I want them to lock eyes to acknowledge and celebrate the journey of these men."
Keep scrolling to check out the exquisite 18 portraits of the trans male models from the show. For more information on Andrew Werner, visit AndrewWernerPhotography.com and follow him on Instagram.
(Pictured Here: Phoenix Montoya)