Love is love. Everyone deserves to feel safe and comfortable to express their true selves and who they love. This is our vision for the future world. In support of this vision, we partnered up with our friend and Queer artist Tim Singleton for the release of our very special pair of Limited Edition Pride Weekend Sneakers. Proceeds from all sales of this sneaker will go toward Tim’s favourite non profit, Rainbow Railroad.
Read on to learn more about Tim, our launch and Rainbow Railroad.
Q&A with Tim Singleton
Vessi: Hey Tim! Tell us a little bit about your art.
Tim: I'm an artist and illustrator living in Toronto, Ontario. It's really important for me to centre so much of my work on the LGBTQIA+ community because I'm a part of that community. My work is about expressing myself and my lived experiences, and it would be disingenuous not to involve that in my work.
Vessi: What does art mean to you?
Tim: I think art is really beautiful when it lets people into the artist's perspective, and my work is may way of opening up to the viewer and the world.
Vessi: Who are your creative inspirations?
I'm very inspired by the Queer artists who came before me. Queer masters like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring of contemporary art are huge inspirations. The typography, bold colours, and graphic style put together reflects these inspirations.
The work of Andy Warhol, one of Tim's creative inspiration
Vessi: Tell us about your design for the Limited Edition Enamel Pin that comes with each pair of Pride Sneakers!
Tim: The pin is all about expressing your self freely in the world. It says Out and About in big rainbow letters bursting through clouds. I wanted something that is both an expression of Pride itself and a fun play on words. Vessi is all about getting out in the world and doing it with dry feet. The concept of Out and About is very special for the LGBTQIA+ community. We aren't always able to get out there safely. Pride month gives us a chance to be visible and unapologetically queer.
Vessi: How has Pride changed in light of the pandemic?
Tim: Pride is more than just a giant street party. With this pause we're collectively taking, it's a chance to think about our experiences, others’ experiences, how theirs may differ from ours, and how we can make a positive change for those who can’t express themselves freely like we can here in Canada.
Vessi: Tell us about your favourite non profit, Rainbow Railroad.
Tim: Proceeds of the Vessi Pride Weekends are going toward Rainbow Railroad, such an important organization that helps LGBTQIA+ people relocate from parts of the world that are not safe for them to live in. They help them find housing, work and create the foundation of a new, free and safe life they wouldn’t have been able to enjoy.
FUN FACTS ABOUT RAINBOW RAILROAD
💧 Rainbow Railroad have helped over 1600 LGBTQI+ individuals find safety through emergency relocation and other assistance.
💧 The name Rainbow Railroad references the Underground Railroad during the 1800s - a network of activists who helped Black folks escape enslavement in the American south.
💧 Rainbow Railroad helps displaced LGBTQI+ individuals find safety through strategic advocacy, emergency travel support, livelihood support, private sponsorship, community support and partnership development.
💧 Rainbow Railroad works all over the world, helping those experiencing police harassment, family violence, employment discrimination or forced conversion therapy.
PRIDE WEEKEND SNEAKERS
In celebration of our colourful LGBTQ+ communities, we’ve launched a limited edition Pride Weekend Sneaker along with a custom enamel pin designed by Canadian LGBTQ+ artist, Tim Singleton.
Tim infused his signature bold, bright and colourful style into a one-of-a-kind Vessi Enamel Pin collectible available only with the purchase of the Pride Weekend Sneakers.
A portion of the sales from our Pride shoe will go towards the Rainbow Railroad Organization.
Choose what you pay and donate $5, $10 or $15 to Rainbow Railroad.
Shop the Pride drop in support of Rainbow Railroad and the LGBTQIA+ here.