Athletic brands continue to celebrate Pride Month and support LGBTQ athletes through sneakers. And Under Armour’s latest offering for the cause hits stores this week.
After delivering its debut UA Pride collection last year, which boasted a new-look UA Hovr Sonic running sneaker, the athletic giant returns with a Pride-inspired take on the UA Hovr SLK shoe.
The brand said it was inspired by the concept of “beauty is born of chaos” and used an event from 50 years ago to inform the shoe’s design: the Stonewall Inn police raid. (The raid in the New York City bar on June 28, 1969, led to demonstrations by the area gay community and is considered the start of the LGBTQ rights movement in the U.S.)
“We were inspired by the Stonewall Uprising and wanted to keep the authenticity of the chaotic nature of the events but also create something beautiful to match with the outcome,” Under Armour’s sportstyle design manager, Yurri Mial, said in a statement. “The mayhem of that event inspired a unique interpretation of the rainbow you see in this year’s UA Hovr SLK ‘Pride’ colorway. It’s important to us to meld the reality of the events and tell the story behind it.”
The UA Hovr SLK “Pride” features a blue-tinted gray upper that sits atop an atypical rainbow pattered midsole and outsole. The look also comes with both solid and rainbow laces that mirror the sole’s pattern.
The shoe was developed with help from Unified, the internal LGBTQ culture club at Under Armour, which the brand said is one of several culture clubs for employees “to represent underserved or minority groups within the company.”
“Under Armour has always focused on making performance apparel for people, not labels. We celebrate athletes in all their forms, no matter what they look like or who they love,” Under Armour’s head of global brand management, Attica Jacques, said in a statement. “We’re proud to support the LGBTQ athletes who are part of our family, and wanted to create a collection that celebrates them and LGBTQ athletes all over the world.”
This year’s UA Pride Collection, featuring the UA Hovr SLK “Pride,” arrives tomorrow via May UA.com and at Under Armour Brand Houses. The shoes will then hit Macy’s stores the first week of June.
Although Under Armour has experienced struggles of late, the company could be turning things around. On Friday, JPMorgan analyst Matthew Boss upgraded the athletic brand’s stock from neutral to overweight for the first time in nine months and lifted his price target to $29, from $23 (well above the consensus average of $22). And on May 2, the firm announced Q1 profits of $22.5 million and a 2% sales increase to $1.2 billion, beating out the $1.19 billion market watchers expected.
Check out the video below of Under Armour-backed NBA star Stephen Curry’s cover shoot with FN.