You all know that Grindr is a dating app for gay and bi men, but what you might not know is that the company also uses its platform to provide sexual health advice, disseminate information about PrEP, help gay Syrian refugees find safe houses – and even to sell Nicki Minaj and Madonna tickets. It’s not just about hook-ups. Today, the company proved this even further by announcing the launch of it’s first-ever fashion collection.
The 29-piece ‘The Varsity Collection’ was created in collaboration with printing design studio, Print All Over Me (PAOM) who (you may recall) teamed up with the Tom of Finland Foundation on a fashion line earlier this year. Referencing queer pop-culture and Ancient Greek motifs, it features anoraks, windbreakers, swimming trunks and briefs, track pants, mesh tops, sweatshirts and jockstraps (obviously).
But The Varsity Collection isn’t clothes for clothes’ sake – the line has been created to increase awareness and raise funds for LGBTQ athletes. All proceeds from the collection will be donated to Athlete Ally, a charity focussed on ending homophobia and transphobia in sports which, given the Rio Olympics, is a timely choice.
“As we keep evolving, we are looking for ways to combine things people enjoy with ways to help the community globally. The collection feels sexy, cheeky, fun, but in the end, all profits are going to an amazing group that helps athletes with the issues the gay community faces all around the world. It felt like a different way to approach sports, and every partner in the mix has been amazing,” stated Landis Smithers, creative director of Grindr.
However this isn’t Grindr’s first foray into fashion – back in January, the company partnered with J.W.Anderson on streaming the designer’s AW16 runway show on the app. “Fashion is in my blood and I think for a lot of gay men it is as well,” Smithers said in an interview with Dazed. “It’s a form of expression, but also our version of sports in some ways – who’s on the team, where are people moving to.”
Head to the gallery above to see Grindr’s suitably Grindr-y Varsity Collection.