In celebration of Pride Month and LGBTQIA+ communities across the world, Converse is celebrating its seventh annual Pride campaign by shining a rainbow on the Found Family, described by Converse as “the people that met on the journey to Pride who surround us with love, support, and acceptance.” Today via Converse.Gallery/Found-Family/, the brand will launch a series of original art, images, film, and stories featuring the tales of the Found Family from more than 50 contributors to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.
Alongside the Found Family campaign is the highly anticipated annual Pride collection, which includes a Converse By You custom experience representing the diversity of the community through the “Family, Unity” mantra. By debuting the Pride 2022 collection, Converse will introduce an expansive inline collection that is “visually woven together by bold quilting and prints representing the diversity and togetherness that exists within the LGBTQIA+ community,” according to a press release exclusively sent to ESSENCE. There will be a featured patchwork design modeled from a rainbow bandana print that represents that sense of safety, warmth, and comfort that you experience with your found families.
The Converse By You customization ranges from classic silhouettes to reimagined favorites including the Chuck 70, Chuck Taylor All Star, and Run Star Motion in high, Chuck Taylor All Star Lift Ox, and All-Star Slide. For the first time, the One Star is included as an opportunity for design, as well as a wide range of apparel and headwear. The brand’s popular personalization platform is introducing more customization options exclusive to Pride Month including the ‘All-Star’ patch, license plate, and laces, which Converse states is “inspired by pride, bisexual, pansexual, lesbian, non-binary, and transgender, and unity flags for a more inclusive take on personal expression.”
Furthermore, members of Converse’s diversified All-Star community include a global network of young creatives, not limited to Alli, Becki, Elianel, Jas, Thomas, Scotty, Reagan, Julian, Soma, Ilu, Isis, Paulos, and Jordan as well as Converse flow team rider, Brianna. SCI partners continue to support Converse’s mission to uplift the Found Family’s agenda by distributing the stories of members and community partners who continuously develop safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ and gender-expansive youth. Community partners include It Gets Better Project, The Ali Forney Center, Skate Like A Girl, Theater Offensive, Out Metrowest, BAGLY (the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth), COC Nederlands, Minus18, and Las Fotas Project.
“Each year, our collection and campaign concepts are created by and for the LGBTQIA+ community. For Pride 2022—after witnessing the past two years where many were isolated and struggling — Converse is proud to shine a rainbow on Found Family and celebrate the positive impact of these chosen individuals, who lift us up,” said Jessica Collado-Aleman, Sr. Marketing Manager and Converse Pride Network Co-Chair, exclusively to ESSENCE.
Collado-Aleman continued to ESSENCE, “More than anything, we wanted to explore the concept of found family in order to create a joyful expression for young people, a message that there are many individuals who are ready to embrace them across the LGBTQIA+ community and as allies – no matter where they are on their journey to Pride. We hope that this campaign looks like the many, beautiful, blossoming, and ever-evolving individuals that claim their space within our diverse LGBTQIA+ community.”
The Converse By You Pride Collection is now available on Converse.com, while the remaining inline collection will be available beginning in June. To view the Found Family stories, please visit: Converse. Gallery. To find out more about Converse’s Pride efforts, grassroots partners in key cities, and the new collection, please visit Converse.com/Pride.
Next month, Converse will introduce a new chapter to the Found Family campaign with a special film project in collaboration with Richie Shazam, premiering during the Tribeca Festival.