From Burberry’s joyful video to Calvin Klein’s Proud in my Calvins campaign
With Black Trans Lives Matter marches taking place around the world the same weekend parties and parades celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community would usually happen, June 2020 was a stark reminder that Pride’s roots lie in protest.
Gone were the feather-trimmed, conglomerate-sponsored floats and cringe-worthy dancing policemen that usually fill Soho’s streets, and in their place came placards bearing photos of Marsha P. Johnson and those killed at the hand of law enforcers in the US, alongside messages calling for trans people to be afforded the same rights and protection as the rest of us.
Off the streets, however, it was business as usual, as a vast number of brands showed their support for the queer community through Pride-themed collections and donations and pledges to various charities and funds, which, in the face of COVID-19, have become more vital then ever. Here, we’ve rounded up a selection of fashion’s Pride markers, with inclusions from Burberry, Calvin Klein, Converse, and more.
Drawing inspiration from Amber Hikes’ ‘More Colour, More Pride’ flag (which expands the original Pride flag’s rainbow colours to include a black and brown stripe representative of the Black and Latinx LGBTQIA+ community), Converse released a series of customisable Chuck Taylor All Stars and Chuck 70s, with Hikes herself starring in the accompanying campaign. Those benefiting from sales of the limited edition sneakers include the It Gets Better Project, the Ali Forney Center, and OUT MetroWest.
Burberry opted to avoid creating a Pride collection, and instead released a short film in which former Dazed 100 model Aaron Philip, nightlife legend Princess Julia, activist Yves Mathieu, MUA Isamaya Ffrench, Nimmo, and countless others dance to 90s banger “Free” by Ultra Nate. A celebration of “love, togetherness, and freedom” the lo-fi video is actually a pretty joyous affair.
In celebration of Pride, Calvin Klein launched a capsule collection of rainbow-inflected underwear and joined forces with OutRight Action International to support LGBTQIA+ people affected by COVID-19. The accompanying campaign, #PROUDINMYCALVINS, saw the likes of Dazed 100 stars Ama Elsesser, artist and activist Chella Man, and drag queen Pabllo Vittar, as well as rising actor Tommy Dorfman come together in a short film in which they discuss their queer experience and why they feel proud in their Calvins.
The Italian denim label released a short film which shines a spotlight on one trans woman’s experience in growing up, transitioning, and eventually becoming a nun, in a comment on the way the transgender community is treated by the church. Entitled Francesca, the video stars model and activist Harlow Monroe who explains both she and the protagonist she plays “Made our truths a reality and now we can tell the world our story.” Alongside the film, Diesel also released a denim-heavy (duh) capsule collection, with proceeds going to the San Francisco LGBT Community Centre and the TGEU (Transgender Europe) initiative.
Alongside a rainbow-hued collection of knits, t-shirts, and leather bags, Coach enlisted Kim Petras, Rickey Thompson, and Bob the Drag Queen to front its Pride campaign, with each of the cast shooting their own GoPro films in quarantine (with a little direction from photographer and activist Christelle de Castro). The label also made contributions to LGBTQIA+ organisations including the Hetrick-Martin Institute, GLSEN, and the Albert Kennedy Trust.
Including some, shall we say... interesting denim chaps, Levi’s dropped a Pride capsule collection along with a month-long campaign entitled Use Your Voice, which builds upon iO Tillett Wright’s decade-long project documenting 10,000 people who identify as anything other than 100 per cent straight. With ‘real people’ wearing pieces from the Levi’s offering, the label called the photo series “a celebration of our differences and a showcase of our shared humanity… A pinnacle example of how just one voice can raise tens of thousands.”
In celebration of the month of Pride, Nike unveiled a collection of its most iconic sneakers updated in the colours of Amber Hikes’ ‘More Colour, More Pride’ flag. A proportion of profits will be divided between 20 LGBTQIA+ organisations, including the LGBT Center of LA, Portland Frontrunners, You Can Play, and The Gendercool Project, with the accompanying campaign, Be True, turning the lens on six rising athletes.
The purveyor of everyone’s fave 00s accessory partnered with the Pacific Pride Foundation for the fifth year running on a new campaign featuring the likes of Tommy Dorfman, Cora Delaney, and Kai-Isaiah Jamal. Launched alongside this was a collection of vibrant and extremely fluffy rainbow slippers, with the label also announcing a donation of $125,000 to GLAAD.