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TRANS EUROPE EXPRESS: Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci has taken the whole idea of “coed fashion shoot” to another level: The designer is using a transexual among the cast for the house’s fall-winter ad campaign, and it’s someone he knows well: his longtime personal assistant and, interestingly enough, former fit model for his own line. Lea T., a Brazilian with delicate features previously known as Leo, appears alongside an ethnically diverse range of faces in the spots, slated to break in the July issue of L’Uomo Vogue. “She’s always been very feminine: superfragile, very aristocratic,” Tisci enthused of the former Mr. T. “She’s part of the family,” he said, noting that Lea is transitioning into a new career, veterinary medicine, in Milan. Model Mariacarla Boscono, there with Tisci since his start at Givenchy five years ago, appears alongside nine other models, including Malgosia Bela, her hair dyed pink, and Joan Smalls. While some women might find the edgy ads a matter of taste, Tisci explained that including a transgender person exemplifies the masculine-feminine dichotomy that has become one of his design signatures and follows coed casting for his Paris runway last March. Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott shot the ads in a Paris studio. The campaign includes dedicated images for Givenchy eyewear and watches, and Tisci said media budgets would increase in certain growth markets for the brand.
— Miles Socha