This project is the product of an ongoing collaboration between fashion designer Duran Lantink, trans sex worker organization SistaazHood and myself. The Sistaaz are fierce activists, proud to be trans, proud to be sex workers, and even prouder of their stunning sense of style. And they want it to be acknowledged. Most of the girls are homeless, living under a bridge near Cape Town’s (South Africa) Castle of Good Hope.
Together we created a series of photographs and a fashion collection based on the girls’ appearance and their ability to turn whatever they find into the most exuberant outfits. So far this has resulted in a activistic fashion show presented during Amsterdam Fashion Week (a show in Cape Town is planned in 2020) , a photo exhibition in Foam, Red Hook Labs, New York and a publication. The publication features both documentary style pictures as well as staged studio photographs in which the Sistaaz wear the collaborative fashion collection, furthermore it features texts written by the women: stories about their lives, dreams and the struggles and successes they’ve met with.
The women from SistaazHood have shared authorship in this project, so that means that they also organise their happenings around this project, have a share in the profits and have their say in how this project is being executed and how it is shown.