Every June, North America joins together to celebrate LGBTQIA+ communities and the impact they’ve had in our societies. It’s a time of celebration, joy, and love. But it’s also a time for reflection and representation — a time to highlight the contributions and struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community.
We’re proud to introduce Vessi’s 2022 Pride Capsule Collection: Walk With Pride.
What does Pride mean to us?
From the beginning, Vessi has been inspired by the fluidity of water. It shows up not only in our shoe designs but also in how we approach our connection as a team and with our customers.
Pride to us is the synergy between the fluidity found within love itself and the relationships that form from it. It’s being proud of who you are and who you choose to love, and allowing others to do the same. It’s learning from different life experiences that might be miles away from our own. It’s about creating products that make everyone comfortable in their own shoes, lifting up the LGBTQIA+ folks within our walls and also the ones who join us as customers.
How we’re giving back
We know that bringing LGBTQIA+ struggles to light through our public platform is a great way to start. But we also understand that’s not enough when it comes to keeping the conversation going. Last year, we partnered up with Queer artist Tim Singleton for the release of our very special pair of Limited Edition Pride Weekend Sneakers. Proceeds from all sales of the sneaker went towards Tim’s favourite non-profit, Rainbow Railroad.
This year, we also decided to create a three-part campaign with the aim of helping not only through words but also through collaboration and donation. We want everyone to feel they can Walk With Pride, whatever that looks like to them.
Here’s how we made it happen.
Part 1 - The Shoe Design
For our 2022 Pride Capsule, we chose to redesign two of our most-loved collections: the Everyday Move Slip-On and the Everyday Move. Each sneaker is dip-dyed with the colours of the Pride Flag for a one of a kind look. We specifically chose pink, light blue, black, and brown accents on our Everyday Move design as a way to spread awareness and emphasize our commitment to BIPOC and trans communities.
Part 2 - The Collectible Enamel Pin
To design our limited edition pin we asked New York-based LGBTQIA+ artist Zipeng Zhu for help. The pin heart he designed showcases the colours of the Pride Flag and the richness of self-expression. Inspired by the concept of love being fluid and beautiful, he wanted to create something that also allowed him to be authentically himself.
“Pride is love and a time for us to show off our love. Our love for ourselves and for each other” - Zipeng Zhu
Part 3 - The Donation
The final step was to add a donation aspect to the campaign. We’ve pledged to give $5 from every pair of Pride limited edition Vessis sold to organizations that support the LGBTQIA+ community. In order to support folks across both Canada and the US, we’re donating to two non-profit charities whose values strongly align with ours. Check out the section below for more information on who you'll help support when you Walk With Pride.
Marsha P. Johnson Institute
Zipeng chose the Marsha P. Johnson Institute as the US organization we’ll be donating to because of the work they do with Black transgender communities. Johnson was a prominent Black trans activist in the Stonewall riots of 1969. She was an outspoken advocate for gay rights, a mesmerizing drag performer, and a firm promoter of AIDS education.
Today, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute offers a safe space for Black LGBTQIA+ people to advocate, organize, and heal together.
To learn more about the Marsha P. Johnson Institute please click here.
PFlag Canada Foundation
PFlag focuses on helping family members of LGBTQIA+ people navigate their experience of their loved ones' coming out journey. Through support groups and resources, they aim to educate those who are looking for additional learning opportunities. They also offer comprehensive programs focusing on campaigning for pro-gay legislation and in-school education resources.
To learn more about the PFlag Foundation please click here.
Where to learn more about the LGBTQIA+ experience
There’s a rich history of perseverance and resilience when it comes to the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s a story not only of oppression, but also about joy, celebration, and pride. Whatever you identify as there’s so much to learn about the road the LGBTQIA+ community paved.
Talk to the Queer people around you if they’re willing to share. Listen intently and then take that new knowledge and share it with your own circles. This is how we elevate minority voices and create a space for everyone to feel seen and heard.
For more information on the LGBTQIA+ experience, please visit the links below: