Pale... and very interesting: Givenchy casts albino model in latest ad campaign

By Tamara Abraham
Last updated at 12:29 PM on 14th December 2010

Last season he made headlines for casting transsexual muse Lea T in his autumn campaign.

Now Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci has broken the style mould again, with a striking series of ads starring albino model Stephen Thompson.

Inspired by a Robert Mapplethorpe print of a white Roman bust on a piece of leopard-print fabric, the image shows Thompson posing alongside supermodel Daphne Groeneveld, whose hair has been bleached white to match his.

Pale and interesting: Albino model Stephen Thompson appears in Givenchy's latest advertising campaign

White hot: Albino model Stephen Thompson appears with Daphne Groeneveld in the new Givenchy campaign

Further photographs in the series, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, feature supermodels Mariacarla Boscono and Iris Strubegger.

Tisci told industry title WWD that he had always admired albino people, and explained how pale flesh tones were a key feature of his designs.

'They’re very near my world,' he said.

Thompson was previously represented by the now defunct Ugly modeling agency, which represented unusual faces.

Fashion muse: Transgender model Lea T, second right, is the star of Givenchy's new ad campaign

Fashion muse: Transgender model Lea T starred in the last Givenchy campaign

The campaign will make its print debut in the January issue of L’Uomo Vogue, published this month, before appearing in Vogue Paris in February and several other fashion glossies from March.

Last season, transsexual Brazilian model Lea T starred in Givenchy's autumn campaign and even graced the catwalk at its prestigious Haute Couture show.

The 28-year-old beauty, who is Tisci's muse, was born Leandro Cerezo - male - and is undergoing hormone replacement therapy in preparation for a full sex-change.

The designer first spotted her potential when she was appointed as his personal assistant.

'Lea has innate elegance - she's a true goddess,' he said.

‘She’s always been very feminine - super-fragile, very aristocratic,’ he told WWD.

‘She’s part of the family,’ he added.

Lea, whose father is former footballer Toninho Cerezo, has also posed naked in French Vogue.

In an interview with Italian Vanity Fair this summer, she describes how she struggled with her identity, but always felt feminine.

Even in her previous career as a male model, casting directors would confuse her with the female models.

'I had a big Afro similar to Michael Jackson's in his Jackson Five days,' she said.

'When I walked into a room for a casting, there would always be someone who would say: "The girls' casting is that way!"'

But her transition from man to woman has not been straightforward. She described how she was taunted while walking down the street in Italy, and that the hormone treatment had left her feeling 'constantly premenstrual'.


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

I once saw a beautiful young woman dressed as an Angel at a Science Fiction Convention in Denver, Colorado...since then, I've considered Albinoism as a rare beauty trait. But I do remember that child in High School who dyed her hair brown and wore eye lenses, makeup to look "normal". She was lonely and wanted to make friends. It worked, she was no longer an outsider. But its sad that she had to go through all that just to make friends. Perhaps this model will help people understand that being Albino is beautiful, and family.

Click to rate     Rating   18

"Breaking the style mould" does not necessarily strictly refer to weight only. - irritated, beijing, china, 14/12/2010 22:13 Yes! Exactly! I'm irritated too.....

Click to rate     Rating   18

i love it. albino's deserve this positive recognition. its such a rare disorder that people are unaccoustomed to seeing it, still fear it, and are ignorant of abinism. people who are albinos have feelings too just like everyone else, and they are. i know 2 albinos and both are really cool guys...not cool meaning meaning proper cool...and when i am with them people just stare at them, and dont see their coolness, or see the person.

Click to rate     Rating   41

Our beloved Emporer Elric seems to be doing so well in his new job.

Click to rate     Rating   17

They look like weirdos.

Click to rate     Rating   95

Is it just me or did anyone else think that the Albino guy was "Milky" from the film "Me, Myself and Irene"? No disrespect intended, it just looks like the same guy.

Click to rate     Rating   12

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.