Caitlyn Jenner will be the face of a new ad campaign from one of the world’s biggest fashion chains. The former athlete and reality TV star—who made headlines last year when she transitioned from male to female—posted a picture to her social media accounts yesterday (March 10) of herself in an ad for H&M’s athletic line, H&M Sport. A few hours later, H&M posted the same image, saying more are still to come.
For Jenner, who has been trying to raise awareness for the transgender community, it’s yet another major milestone. MAC Cosmetics announced last month that Jenner was getting her own shade of lipstick. But the H&M association is perhaps especially poignant, given that it recalls her initial rise to fame as an Olympic-gold-winning decathlete.
“We have picked Caitlyn Jenner, one of the world’s most celebrated athletes, as part of this H&M Sports campaign because we want to illustrate that everything is possible—in sports, and in life,” a spokesperson for H&M said in a statement. “It is a collection of performance sportswear made to celebrate individuality and self-belief.”
While the campaign could further Jenner’s work of advocating for transgender people, many members of the LGBT community have found Jenner to be less than ideal as a voice for their rights. She has made comments that some find offensive, and has been called an “insult” to trans people. Recently she offered her support for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, even after Cruz said he doesn’t want to “inflict” a transgender student on peers by allowing the student to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Quartz has reached out to Jenner’s representatives for comment, and will update this post with any response.
In any case, Jenner is a high-profile person, and she fits with H&M’s recent push for greater diversity in its models. In the past several months, the Swedish brand has put up large ads with Sikh men in turbans, and featured a model in a hijab in its “Close the Loop” campaign.
It has also made an effort to use trans models beyond Jenner. Trans models Hari Nef and Andreja Pejic walked amid a diverse group in the brand’s recent runway show at Paris Fashion Week. Nef also appeared in a campaign created entirely by trans people for H&M’s subsidiary, & Other Stories.
Meanwhile, for the clan that includes Jenner and her famous stepdaughters, the Kardashian sisters, it’s one more marketing campaign under their collective belt. At this point it’s practically the family business.