The major shoe makers make a major statement with their latest releases.
In a move that’s sure to enrage Australian tennis great and out-and-proud homophobe Margaret Court, two of the world’s biggest footwear manufacturers have released Pride-themed collections this week to express solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
It’s the first time the geniuses at the Nike Air Manufacturing Innovation facility in Oregon have died their cutting-edge VaporMax Air unit bubbles with more than two colours, splashing the eight hues of the Pride flag across the cushioned sole, complementing the dark purple lightweight fly knit upper.
“The key for us was to create something that people could unite around to show their support for LGBTQ athletes,” said Nike’s LBGT Network Leader, Robert Goman, describing the BETRUE initiative that began in 2012. “Sporting your rainbow in the gym or on a run became a way to feel like you belonged to something larger – you were connected to being ‘out’ or being an ally.”
Converse join the Pride party on June 2 with their own rainbow collection arriving on their website and selected General Pants stores around Australia, as part of their Yes to All campaign.
The limited edition Connies include white Chuck Taylor All Star ’70s with rainbow patches and cloth heel stay, as well as the classic high-tops in full-on rainbow or rainbow with a star print.
Converse are donating part of the revenue to Minus 18, a Melbourne-based youth network for gay, bi, lesbian and trans teenagers.