In honor of the 50th anniversary of Pride, Converse has created vegan hi-top shoes modeled after the Transgender Pride flag.
Called the Custom Chuck Taylor All Star Pride High Top, the shoes are made with a lightweight, durable canvas upper and feature a Pride flag-inspired rainbow on the outsole. The colors of the Transgender Pride flag – light blue, pink, and white – appear on the shoe’s fabric and laces.
Converse has made Pride sneakers annually since 2015, however, the newest pair marks the first time the company has launched trans-specific sneakers. Consumers can also customize their own Pride-themed shoes and add the Transgender Pride flag to their design.
People have mixed feelings about corporations participating in Pride since many do so for profit, however, Mashable points out that the trans-inspired sneaker launch is “a huge symbolic step forward.”
“Brands sometimes go too hard during Pride season. Every once in a while, however, they get it right,” the publication writes about Converse’s new product. “Advocates for the trans community have long complained that gay and lesbian people dominate the LGBTQ movement. Recognizing the trans community as a separate — though equally sneaker-worthy community — is emblematic of a larger cultural shift.”
The Transgender Pride flag was created in 1999 by Monica Helms, a trans woman activist, sci-fi author, and US Navy Veteran residing in Marrietta, Georgia. The flag, which first appeared in a Pride parade in 2000, in Phoenix, Arizona, is used to represent transgender legitimacy and pride. Helms designed the flag as she felt it was important to represent the particular struggles of transgender people.
Converse says that its vegan Chucks help to “honor love and equality in every form,” according to the Converse website. “However you identify, whoever you love – tell your story with pride,” the company writes.
Vegan Pride Converse Sneakers
Last year, vegan musician Miley Cyrus collaborated with Converse to launch the 2018 Converse Pride Collection. Cyrus, who is openly pansexual, designed rainbow sneakers and streetwear-inspired clothing entirely free from animal products. All net proceeds from the collection went toward LGBTQIA+ youth community groups like the Happy Hippie Foundation.