By Brandy Black
So rarely are same-sex parent families like mine represented in commercial media, that when it does happen, whether in print, television, or on film, I am moved beyond expectation. When Quinny, a European stroller brand, reached out to me for help in producing a photo shoot featuring real “modern” families, it felt like all my efforts to revolutionize the definition of “family” were finally being validated. Quinny had a genuine interest in partnering with us and expressing their support for the modern parent. Rather than cast actors or models for its shoot, Quinny sought instead to invite real same-sex parent and multi ethnic families to share their worlds with Quinny. And so began a search for Los Angeles-area families to feature in Quinny’s Walk Your Way campaign, one that furthers the brand’s long-held belief that all parents should embrace their truth and strut their stuff in style.
Here’s a sneak preview of the modern family Walk Your Way Campaign:
The Product is Here!
I couldn’t believe how many strollers arrived at my office. Boxes galore…
Hair, Makeup, and Wardrobe
It was certainly fun to have all the families gathered together to prepare for the shoot. Although many family members wore their own clothes, a few designers generously provided key pieces for this modern parent spread.
The kids were thrilled to sit in the makeup chair.
Behind the Scenes
From the streets of Los Angeles, to the iconic Grand Central Market, to Redondo Beach, Quinny captured families in their natural worlds. Onlookers “oohed” and “awed”; one couple even approached the gay parents while cameras flashed, exclaiming, “Good for you!” and “You go girl!”
The Quinny Marketing Brand Leader was with us every step of the way, holding kids, pushing strollers, and all the while keeping us laughing.
The photographer, Jennifer Roper in action! Jennifer lives with her wife and child in Los Angeles.
Here’s a little bit about the Los Angeles-based “Next” families featured in Quinny’s very special Walk Your Way Campaign:
The Tubera Family
Teresa is Hispanic (Mexican) and Tracy is Filipino. They met through a mutual friend. Because both of Teresa’s parents are deaf, their triplets (age 2) are learning English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Sign Language!
“After only two weeks of dating, Tracy and I started pretending to name our future kids. We acted like we were joking, but I think deep down we both knew this could be it and we were super excited at the thought of one day starting a family.
As far as parenting, we worry less about whether the laundry is folded and more about the lasting memories we have created that day. Our boys bring us more joy than we could have ever imagined. Participating in this campaign was especially exciting because we were recognized for what makes our family unique. The spirit of the campaign was one of community and it was a pleasure working with The Next Family and Quinny.”
The Epps Family
Kyle and Michael were neighbors when they met in 2008, but it was a shared love for “American Idol” that led them to start dating. They moved to Redondo Beach in 2010, the same year that Kyle asked Michael to marry him. The couple foster/adopted Andrew in 2013 when he was four months old. But after six months, Andrew was re-unified with his birth mother. As painful as that was, Kyle and Michael were determined to stay in Andrew’s life and help his birth mother in raising him. Now, at 18 months, Andrew and his new brother Emery get to enjoy fun-filled weekends with their “dadas”. Michael and Kyle especially loved doing the photo shoot at Redondo Beach, because it’s the birth place of their family.
“We truly do live the Quinny lifestyle, which allows us to fit our kids into OUR routine. It’s good to spend time doing things for your children…but for our sanity, we have to ensure that we keep a balance and stay focused on maintaining a relationship as well.”
The Black-Howard Family
Brandy and Susan live with their three kids in Los Angeles. They met in a West Hollywood diner in their mid-twenties and have been together ever since. They got married when it wasn’t legal and there was very little talk of gay marriage.
“I had the honor of helping Quinny hand-pick these families for their “Walk Your Way” photo shoot. I had several conversations with the Boston, New York, and Netherlands teams about their continued commitment to encourage “modern” families to embrace their authentic selves, to feel safe in being exactly who they are, and to walk their own way. I love their new campaign and have enjoyed partnering with Quinny to find families to feature in it. It was funny: having not previously met the Quinny teams in person, I was thrilled when they unwittingly chose my family out of the collection of families’ photographs I had culled together and presented to them. It is an honor to witness, in such a short period of time, the revolutionary change in the gay community and to be a part of a campaign that represents so much of what we fight for.”
Keep a lookout for families like yours in the Quinny Walk Your Way campaign, coming soon. If you want to strut YOUR stuff, #walkyourway with a picture of your family. (Who knows, we might even convince Quinny to do a nationwide search for families to feature in their next campaign.) And be sure to follow @QuinnyWorld on Instagram to see more!
Special thanks to wardrobe provided by: Louro , Media Playground PR and the Park Showroom, Kill City. On Michael Epps: Pieces from Third and Army and Supremebeing LTD. On Kyle Epps: Pieces from Wittmore, Third and Army, Supremebeing LTD, and Neuw. Kid’s Style: Pieces from Homespun Vintage