Lea T for Benetton
New Benetton Campaign Features Transgender Model

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com January 25 2013 3:01 PM ET

Transgender model Lea T is featured in United Colors of Benetton’s spring-summer ad campaign, which spotlights people who have “incredible personal stories.”

“The route they followed in order to get [to fashion success] was a very unusual route, a different route,” company chairman Alessandro Benetton told reporters in Paris Wednesday, The Daily Beast reports. “It is perhaps one of the most ‘Benetton’ campaigns, productwise, that we have ever done.”

In addition to Lea T, a Brazilian transgender woman whose father was a soccer star, those in the campaign include Alek Wek, a war refugee from Sudan; German model Mario Galla, who has a prosthetic leg; Elettra Wiedemann, the daughter of Isabella Rossellini and granddaughter of Ingrid Bergman; Kiera Chaplin, granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin and great-granddaughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill; and several others. They were photographed by Giulio Rustichelli.

“The playful campaign and motley cast are a clear pitch to renew relations with younger consumers, a market key to Benetton’s success during its heyday, when Oliviero Toscani was churning out shocking, and ultimately iconic, campaigns for the brand in the 1980s and 1990s that included a nun kissing a priest, death-row inmates, and AIDS patients,” The Daily Beast notes.