The Open Arms tapped for trans community fashion brand launch campaign

A new Melbourne-based fashion brand has been founded for the trans and non-binary community, with a launch campaign via indie creative agency The Open Arms.

The brand, created by Simone Kelly and her 16-year-old stepchild, Eli (he/they), aims to create comfortable, safe, locally-designed chest binders for people like Eli.

The launch campaign comes ahead of the product launch next month, created with The Open Arms and production company, Sapphic Films.

“We connected with Eli and Simone’s story as soon as we met them and our research showed us there’s a real need for choice in the transwear space,” said Jess Lilley, founder of The Open Arms.

“When it came to developing the campaign, we knew from the beginning we had to take a step back and find co-creators from the trans and non-binary community to drive the storytelling and production.

“It’s been a privilege working with Sapphic Flicks and the incredible community they built around this project.”

It features a music video celebrating trans joy, while acknowledging the need for resistance at a time where gender is such a prominent topic.

Sapphic Flicks co-founder and campaign director, Merryn Trescott, said: “This campaign was an opportunity to tell a story of trans joy with trans, non-binary and queer folk in front of and behind the camera.

“It’s vital that trans people have creative control over trans stories to ensure they are told with authenticity and safety for all involved; it’s also more fun.”

The spot features Eli among other trans and non-binary community members, making their way to the steps of Parliament – a location well-known for events of transphobic hate speech.

“The shoot was great – to meet some other trans and non-binary people and know that they’ve had similar experiences to me, and that I’m not alone in anything,” Eli said.

Transform will be officially launching its online store in March, as well as a pop-up store in Cremorne, Melbourne.


Client: Transform

Creative agency: The Open Arms

Production company: Sapphic Flicks
Director: Merryn Trescott
Cinematography: Flick Smith
Stills photography: Ella Maximillion
Editor: Jamie Connor
Colourist: Michelle St Claire
HMU: Kaydee Kyle Taylor
Wardrobe: Tyler Whitfort
1st assistant camera: Tan Slayvèn
Set gaffer: Han Palmer
Production assistant: Alicia Herrera
Art department: Oosah Kerr
Graphic design: Erin Langford

Music: I Care About You by Zig Zag


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