H&M Launches a Collection for Pride Month

In 2018, fashion brands aren’t shy about voicing their values—and putting their money where their mouths (and their marketing campaigns) are. H&M is the latest to show its support for Pride Month, which starts on June 1, and the LGBTQ+ community with the launch of its latest collection.

On May 31, H&M’s online shop and select brick-and-mortar locations will carry an apparel and accessories collection tied to Pride, which will include brightly-colored tees, sequin shorts, and slogan sweatshirts—all priced under$50. A percentage of proceeds from the collection will benefit the United Nations Free & Equal, the UN’s official campaign against the criminalization of LGBTQ+ folk worldwide. “H&M believes in everybody’s right to love who they want,” H&M’s head of Menswear Design, Andreas Lowenstam, said in a statement. “We hope people can use H&M’s Pride collection to celebrate their belief in equal love.” The brand’s celebration of Pride Month doesn’t stop at clothing: It’s also collaborating with OUT magazine on a special campaign, titled “Pride OUT Loud,” to kick off the collection’s launch. It features LGBTQ+ figures like Olympian Gus Kenworthy, singer Kim Petras, and artist-activist Gabrielle Richardson.

As a model and founder of Art Hoe Collective—a gallery curated on Instagram for queer creatives of color—Richardson has a strong tie to the collection’s message of global love and inclusiveness. “I just want to let people know that they exist and they’re not alone,” she tells Glamour about her appearance in the campaign.

For Richardson, it’s the collection’s message tees (with words like “Equality” and “Pride,” which she wears in her campaign shot) that are central to supporting LGBTQ+ folks through fashion: “People want to start a conversation, people want to start a dialogue. When you have something like a shirt that says ‘equality,’ people see it and they have an immediate visceral reaction. If anything, that will help facilitate these important conversations. [When] it’s something as universal as a shirt, it can really set the fire. It can really start the conversation.”

Part of acceptance also comes from having the support of far-reaching, recognizable brands like H&M. “Recognition is strength,” Richardson says. Through this type of global campaign, she can reach queer folk who perhaps haven’t seen themselves represented in this type of imagery before. “I think the amazing thing about big brands like H&M that are so accessible, that are so big, is that it can reach so many people all over the world, all over the country,” she explains, “and places where a little queer kid didn’t think there was anyone else like them. [Those kids] can see their reflection through someone else who has gone through the same things as them and has a very similar narrative that they didn’t really completely understand before.”

Then, there’s the expectation-defying component of appearing in a Pride campaign alongside four other creatives: Richardson says this campaign shatters assumptions of what “queerness” looks like by featuring a diverse group of models, including herself. “I think it’s important for people when they see me in this campaign, they realize that [queerness] can look like anyone,” Richardson tells us. “Queerness can be a black girl who’s just wearing jeans and a t-shirt.”

“I just think it’s important for you to stand strong for who you are and let people know what you’re about as soon as they see you,” Richardson says. When H&M’s Pride Collection becomes available to shop on May 31, people of all identities can do just that.

Get your first look at H&M’s Pride OUT Loud campaign and collection, below.

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