Atlanta gay couple Kordale Lewis and Kaleb Anthony, along with their four children, are the first black LGBT family to be the face of a major European fashion collection.
The six will appear in ads for Swedish Acne Studios’ fall 2017 patch collection.
“All they said was, it was about family,” Lewis said. “They wanted to shoot us as a family. They wanted to show that family, any family is normal, and we should never look at anyone in a different sex situation and think they’re not normal.”
“Nobody has ever done that in Europe. I don’t even know that I’ve ever seen a LGBT family, African-American, that have represented a high fashion line like that either [in the US],” he said.
Acne Studios flew the family, plus Lewis’ mother, to New York for a photoshoot across the street from Central Park. Lewis said it was a surreal experience, especially watching the stylist decide the particular look she wanted each of them to have.
“The company contacted us about five months ago, and they said, ‘We would love to make you guys the face of our fall/winter release,’” Lewis told Georgia Voice. “We found they were a European fashion company. I really didn’t know how big it was until I did more research. … I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is a big thing.’ Our magazine is in all the Acne Studios stores. It’s like an international campaign.”
The shoot was right up daughter Desmiray’s alley. Lewis said she’s wanted to pursue modeling for the past two years, a passion shared by younger sister Maliyah. The boys, Kordale Jr. and baby Kaleb Jr., were less interested to pose for the camera, but Lewis said these were still some of his favorite photos of his family.
In a statement on the company’s website, Jonny Johansson said he’d been thinking of the family concept for a long time.
“It is also a way of highlighting that while every family is different, we all have the same love and want the best for our children,” the statement reads.
“I’m obsessed with uniform clothing in families and I wanted to portray this phenomenon. I love those images of families dressing in the same outfit, and this new collection dedicated to the face motif also has a similar feeling of staple goods,” Johansson’s statement says.
The patch collection includes rugby-style tops with wide, dark-colored stripes contrasting against white; drawstring pants and shorts; coats and athletic jackets; sweaters; sweatshirts and even swim trunks. There are knit beanies and scarves featuring the brand’s face patch logo, and similar styles are available for women, men, boys and girls.
Lewis said the modeling ocntract was still open, but as the campaign has only been live for a week, they haven’t been booked to shoot another season with Acne Studios.
“This is the first time that we’ve ever done something like this,” he said. “I think it’s been great. The only thing that me and Kaleb want to do is we want to represent our family well, our LGBT community well and deliver what the company wants us to do. Whether it’s expand a name or show diversity or break barriers like we did, we’re happy.”