Gilbert Baker’s Pride Flag
Fashion in today’s climate is a platform; whether you are championing sustainability relating to environmental issues, banging the drum for a particular cause or standing tall in support of a group of people, a statement can most definitely be made. It’s that form of positive activism that Nike is looking to promote and celebrate with their upcoming Nike BETRUE collection. In 1978, political activist and designer Gilbert Baker married his two passions to create a hand dyed and hand sewed flag consisting of eight coloured stripes (pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue and violet) to be a positive symbol that would unite gay, lesbian and transgender people. He called it the Pride Flag and debuted it that year in San Francisco.
Nike BETRUE Collection
A refined version of this flag which did away with the turquoise and pink still exists today as the global symbol of the LGBTQIA+ community, but to celebrate the impact Gilbert Bakers original had to memorialise his legacy, Nike partnered with the Gilbert Baker Estate, working hand-in-hand to create this year’s 2019 BETRUE collection. For the first time, the footwear, apparel and accessories all feature the icon’s original eight-colour flag, as well as other meaningful “Gilbert-y” touches and symbols of Pride. The collection includes a multitude of excellent apparel pieces, a bag strap and other accessories as well as an expansive trainer capsule which is as diverse as the community it is representing.
Nike Air Max 720 BETRUE
The new-ish Air Max 720 silhouette sports the various tones of the eight coloured pride flag across its gradient upper, with Baker’s signature present on the rear portion of the translucent 720 Air-Max unit. While “BETRUE” branding on the pull tab complete the look and drive its influence home.
Nike Air Tailwind BETRUE
Meanwhile, the Nike Air Tailwind offers an all the more subtle representation of Pride Month with neutral beige tones across the upper’s suede panels, with a see-through mesh middle portion that takes cues from crop tops, completed with a rainbow panel on the heel and pink Swoosh on the tongue tag.
Nike Air 90 BETRUE
Combining both of the previous approaches, the Nike Air Max 90 from this pack blends neutral tones alongside brighter accents with grey and black leather panels alongside white mesh, elevated by multiple embroidered Swooshes in rainbow tones. Colourful plastic panels complement the glorious detail, while “Nike Air” is stripped from the heel branding to create a flag-like shape.
Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo BETRUE
The fourth and final member of the “BETRUE” collection is the Zoom Pegasus Turbo, and it comes sporting a full-length rainbow stripe and plentiful sparkles across the vamp and heel, because “Baker was always covered in glitter, sparkle and bedazzle,” according to Nike.
NIKE AND THE lgbtqia+ cOMMUNITY
The stocklist rolls out in full on June 1st and coincides with Pride Month 2019 with Nike very proud of their longstanding and positive relationship with the LGBTQIA+ community. With the brand openly publicising some figures to support this with them stating Nike has consistently received 100 per cent scores from the Human Rights Campaign for the past 17 years. Also letting it be known that $3.6 million has been provided in financial and in-kind support to LGBTQIA+ causes since 2012, with a further $1 million coming from Nike’s subsidiary Converse which has contributed to longstanding local and global LGBTQIA+ community partners since 2014.
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