If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Footwear News may receive an affiliate commission.
This Pride season, Converse is shining a light on the LGBTQIA+ community’s “chosen families”: allies and others met on individuals’ journeys to acceptance.
For the occasion, the sneaker brand has partnered with over 50 international young creatives for a new campaign, “Found Family.” The initiative tells each person’s story through mediums like art, photographs and letters in a digital gallery on Converse’s website — as well as photography by artist Richie Shazam.
“We wanted to explore the concept of found family and create a joyful expression for young people, a message that there are many individuals who are ready to embrace them across the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Ilana Finley, Converse’s VP of global communications and social & community Impact, in an interview.
The “Found Family” project’s ultimate goal is to share the values of support and love within the LGBTQIA+ community, which was created through Converse’s LGBTQIA+ employee resource group, Pride Network. The Network provided support throughout every stage of the collection’s creation as well, from its designs to marketing — which also shows Converse’s dedication to the LGBTQIA+ community.
The accompanying collection features quilting, graphics and a gradient rainbow bandana print to represent diversity and closeness. These can be seen across apparel, headwear and the label’s numerous iconic shoe styles, including the Chuck 70, Chuck Taylor All Star, All Star Slide and One Star.
Currently, customizable Chuck Taylor All Star High, Low, and Platform silhouettes are now available on the brand’s Converse By You platform, where shoppers can personalize the styles’ patches, plates and laces inspired by various LGBTQIA+ community flags. The remaining line will launch in the beginning of June.
Key ongoing SCI partners also played a key role in Converse’s support of the community by sharing the Found Family story of some of their members. Through annual grants, Converse supports the transformative work of community partners in developing safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ and gender-expansive youth to be their true selves and build a future they believe in. Those community partners in North America include: It Gets Better Project, Skate Like A Girl’s Inclusivity Cooperative, The Theater Offensive, The Ali Forney Center, BAGLY, Out MetroWest and Las Fotos Project.
“For us, it is critically important that a dedicated Pride collection is a celebration and result of the work and investment we do day-in and day-out to support our partners, our people and the LGBTQIA+ community at large,” said Finley.
In the future, Converse aims to evolve its inclusivity when it comes to Pride and LGBTQIA+ representation.
“Beyond the financial giveback — which is incredibly important — we believe there is also power in helping people — both young individuals within the community, as well as our Converse employees — to be seen, be heard and be accepted through our brand by offering a platform to share and amplify their stories,” Finley said.
The “Found Family” collection and Converse By You shoes can be seen in full on Converse.com.
Discover Converse and more brands’ past Pride collections in the gallery.