With this year’s Pride celebrations being put on hold due to coronavirus, event organisers have been finding alternative ways to bring people together and support LGBT+ communities during the pandemic. London Pride has turned its focus to digital events and ‘acts of allyship’ while New York’s NYC Pride is holding a ‘virtual rally’ on June 26.
Fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands have also been launching their own initiatives to mark the start of Pride month. Levi’s has released a rainbow-themed clothing range with 100% of proceeds going to OutRight Action International while Nike has pledged $500,000 to organisations working to promote LGBTQIA+ inclusion.
Shaving brand Harry’s has turned its focus to the design community for its Pride 2020 campaign, inviting LGBT+ creatives to reflect on what Pride means to them and share some words of advice for others. Design With Pride features interviews with 12 artists and designers – from toy designer Cas Holman to graphic designer Debbie Millman, fashion designer NiK Kacy and Gilbert Baker, the creator of Pride’s iconic rainbow flag.
Interviews are accompanied by some vibrant portraits created by Spanish illustrator José Roda. Alongside the campaign, Harry’s has also released a limited edition shave set, complete with an iridescent razor and a giftbox illustrated by Roda. All proceeds from US sales of the kit will be donated to The Trevor Project – a suicide prevention and crisis intervention charity working with LGBTQ youth – while £10 from each kit sold in the UK will go to the Albert Kennedy Trust, an LGBTQ youth homelessness charity.
There’s a notable lack of people of colour in the campaign (most of the creatives featured are white) but the designers cover a broad range of fields – from fashion to architecture and visual communication.
The involvement of brands in Pride has been met with some criticism over the past few years, but 2020 has seen various companies shifting their focus from traditional ad campaigns and sponsorship to initiatives supporting grassroots organisations. Harry’s has raised almost $300,000 for LGBT+ organisations since 2018 through its Pride campaigns and limited edition shave kits and has pledged to help 120,000 at-risk youth in 2020 through its work with The Trevor Project. The brand has also been using its website and social media feeds to raise awareness of The Trevor Project and the Albert Kennedy Trust, highlighting the work that both organisations provide through a series of colourful infographics.