This year’s Nike BeTrue and Converse Pride Collection look multidimensionally at LGBTQIA+ representation and interprets those perspectives through timeless silhouettes and color applications. Reflecting the same power of the spectrum in the LGBTQIA+ and allied community, the inspirations behind the designs span time periods and settings. The silhouettes themselves occupy different eras and spaces too, and form a lineup that brings a unified strength in diversity.
For Nike, these expressions include the Nike Air Force 1, the Nike Air Max 2090 and the Nike Air Deschutz. The Air Force 1, in its first BeTrue edition, features a 10-color heel mark inspired by the More Color, More Pride flag introduced in Philadelphia in 2017. To recognize people of color in the LGBTQIA+ community, the colors of the flag were expanded to add the black and brown stripes.
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This year, Nike is supporting more than 20 organizations advancing the LGBTQIA+ community, with some grants administered by the Charities Aid Foundation of America. The organizations range from local to national with a focus on advocacy in sports, creating safe spaces and elevating the history of the community. Some of these nonprofits received grants from Nike last year as well; the continuation of funding is vital during this unprecedented time (Learn more at Nike Purpose).
The power of inclusion through an array of perspectives carries into this year’s Converse Pride collection, which contains a range of Chuck 70 and Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers inspired by the More Color, More Pride flag. The Converse By You customization platform offers design options that reflect this inclusivity and are inspired by bisexual, pansexual, non-binary and transgender flags.
“When we expand our understanding of a concept, in this instance Pride, we provide so much more space for everyone else,” says Amber Hikes, the civil rights activist who concepted the striping in 2017.
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The Converse Pride Collection is embarking on its five-year anniversary celebrating Pride. The brand has donated more than $1,000,000 in support of local and global LGBTQIA+ organizations, with this year’s collection benefiting It Gets Better Project [IGBP], Ali Forney Center, BAGLY and OUT MetroWest.
Here’s an example of that impact: Since the partnership between Converse and IGBP began in 2017, the organization has had more ways to uplift, empower and connect LGBTQIA+ youth around the world.
- The It Gets Better Global Affiliate Network now spans four continents and six major languages. During the last three years, the network has grown to include Russia, the United Kingdom, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, India and Guatemala.
- IGBP has provided 20 global grants to support efforts across 12 countries.
- IGBP has launched It Gets Better EDU, an education program that translates stories for use in the classroom and other community settings. Thousands of students and educators from around the world have participated in the It Gets Better EDU since the program’s inception in December 2017.
The Nike BeTrue Collection releases June 5 throughout Greater China and June 19 globally on nike.com and at select retailers. The Converse Pride Collection releases globally May 29 on converse.com.