How Fashion Brands Are Shifting Their Pride Plans During Coronavirus

Courtesy of ASOS

With governors implementing stay-at-home orders in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the way people celebrate has changed dramatically. Birthdays and weddings, for example, are mostly being acknowledged virtually with zoom parties or socially-distanced drive-bys. And in-person gatherings are mostly out of the question. Pride Month celebrations are no different.

In the United States, Pride Month is celebrated in June, in commemoration of the Stonewall riots that occurred in June of 1969. The 30-day period is typically packed with parties, parades, and events to celebrate the LGBTQ community, but in the age of the coronavirus outbreak, these functions are being reimagined.

Style brands in particular are getting creative, turning to alternative options like virtual parties and isolated photo shoots to commemorate the month while keeping people safe. TomboyX is launching "You Belong Here," a month-long celebration where a new interview or concert with a notable LGBTQ entertainer and advocate is released each week in June. The makeup brand NYX will debut “I March For,” a virtual Pride march for fans, who can use the customizable “Proud Allies” Instagram filter and hashtag #ProudAlliesForAll to share who they march for.

Below is the growing list of brands that are adapting their Pride Celebrations during quarantine, and how you can participate.

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"Obviously, with COVID-19 and social distancing, we've had to really rethink a lot of our processes for Pride," shared CEO and co-founder Fran Dunaway. "On the logistical side, we cannot gather a bunch of people in a room to photograph our new prints, so we've actually hired queer designers, Shanee Benjamin (who also designed our Womxn print) and Christina Bauer, and illustrators to help showcase them. We were also lucky to find a crew down in California who are living together to help us take some photos of our new prints."

The brand is launching a “month-long virtual celebration called You Belong Here," where each week in June, a new interview or concert with a notable LGBTQ entertainer and advocate will be released. "We know how hard this time has been for people, so we want to give people a chance to relax, celebrate, and soak in some virtual love."

Though these particular celebrations are timed to the month of June, Dunaway points out that inclusion has always been their M.O. “Of course, this isn't too much of a pivot for us. We've been an LGBTQ-owned and run company since day one, it's always been in our DNA, so we've always considered ourselves a Pride brand, whether it's June, January, August, or anywhere in between."

Photo Subject: Amy Stretten (@Chiefofstyle/ Photographer: Tara Huyn (@tarawoohoo)


"In past years, we've had the honor of participating in both the NYC Pride March and the LA Pride Parade," a spokesperson for the brand tells Bustle. "This year, ASOS will continue to support the LGBTQ+ community with a digitally focused celebration throughout Pride month across all our channels."

The brand also launched the GLAAD& Collection, with 100% of net profits going towards GLAAD. The collection will be totally size-inclusive, ranging from XS to 4XL, and priced at $29 to $69.


"Was Reebok going to do it big at parades this year? Hunny.. We’ve had Pride events in the works that we’ve been gagging over, but we’ll save those surprises for next year," shares Matt Wyman, Associate Creative Producer, Social and Co-Chair, Colorful Soles (Reebok’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group). "While the way we live our lives and connect with one another has changed, Pride stays strong. And it’s not just one month, it’s all year, every year - for every person, every brand, and every community."

Instead, the brand will tap into the digital world and put a spotlight on their own staff. "We’re shifting focus inward to highlight and tell the stories of our own LGBTQ+ employees who led this year’s amazing campaign from start to finish. We’ll spotlight and celebrate team members throughout Pride Month across Reebok social channels as we continue to encourage our All Types of Love message. This year it’s about continuous growth.”

The campaign highlights activists and influencers in the LGTBQ+ community "who are fighting for equality every day" and provides a platform for fans to share their stories through 'Proud Notes' written by loved ones.


"The big shift we made was when it came to events and casting," says Fossil's Senior Marketing Director, Alessandra Antenucci. "Although events like HMI's annual Youth Pride Fest aren't happening this year, we wanted to create virtual events, and cast campaign ambassadors that felt right for the climate." This year, the brand tapped Mark Kanemura, Matt Bernstein, and Raffinee Esquivel to front their campaign.

One feature will remain the same, Antenucci says, and that's their commitment to "raising awareness for these two great organizations who champion and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth." Their #MakeTimeForGood campaign debuts the Fossil Pride Watch, and a percentage of proceeds will go to Hetrick Martin Institute and the brand’s new global partner, It Gets Better.


"As we approached Pride this year, with many countries still under Stay at Home direction for safety, we reflected on how to reinforce our commitment to the LGBTQ+ community without physically being together," says Lauren Johnson, Global Head of Marketing at Dockers. "Like many of us, [we] turned to video conferencing."

Engaging their partner of 3 years, the Stonewall Community Foundation (SCF), Johnson says “We had thoughtful and informative conversations about how the pandemic has magnified inequity, and how this has affected the LGBTQ+ community. We talked about togetherness and advocacy, and underscored that this year Pride is about the people more than the product, and community support more than just the celebration."

To that end, they're launching a 3-piece gender-neutral collection — a tank top, t-shirt and drawstring shorts — and making a donation to SCF.


With LGBTQ organizations suffering from a "loss in donations due to COVID-19," Morphe is launching a campaign to raise money to support. Titled “Free To Be," the initiative finds them partnering with non-profit organization GLSEN. “This Pride, we hope that virtual programming, such as our IG Lives, collaborations, and spotlight on GLSEN, will encourage more people to participate in Pride celebrations,” a spokesperson for the brand tells Bustle. "Pride is a state of mind, and can be celebrated anytime, anywhere."


"We usually celebrate Pride each year by hosting activities for employees and our community," says Derrick Alexander from the brand's product team. "Because we can't be together in person this year, our Giving team has arranged for Toms employees to virtually engage with one of our long-time partners, Los Angeles LGBT Center." They're planning to play games like Bingo with youth living at the center.

The brand is also launching the Unity Collection with a Pride-inspired twist on the Alpargata (tie dye, rainbow prints, and the phrase “Love is Love") and three bestselling eyewear styles reimagined for Pride with gradient lenses and rainbow-colored frames.


Converse is unveiling a brand-new pride collection with a campaign inspired by the More Color, More Pride flag. “The collection aims to celebrate the power of diversity and inclusion to connect us all — because no matter the circumstance — Pride never stops."

And the Converse By YOU selection has new pride-friendly customizable options, including styles "inspired by bisexual, pan-sexual, non-binary, and transgender flags.”

Due to COVID-19, the brand has had to change their celebration plans, but Jessica Aleman, the Converse Pride Network Co-Chair, shares that "the creativity and resilience we see from the community is incredible," adding, "we also believe that with new ways of connecting, new conversations will emerge. Conversations that create opportunity for even broader participation and representation across the spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ community—not only during Pride, but throughout the year."


"Before Coronavirus, we were very excited that NYX Professional Makeup planned to have its own float in the LA Pride Parade," a spokesperson tells Bustle. "The brand had to quickly pivot plans due to the current circumstances."

Instead, they will be launching “I March For,” a virtual Pride march on June 1. NYX will encourage fans to download a customizable “Proud Allies” Instagram filter and share who they march for using #ProudAlliesForAll and the brand will reshare a few posts on their pages.

The virtual march comes in tandem with their #ProudAlliesForAll campaign featuring stars like Jeremy McClain and Hennessy Carolina, as well as a donation of over $50 thousand to global LGBTQ+ organizations including the LA LGBT Center.

Banana Republic

"After stay at home orders were in place, we shifted our Pride plans to engage our employees from home, having them create personal Pride content through their own lens," reveals Len Peltier, the VP Creative Director.

Peltier stresses that the brand has an “ongoing commitment to celebrate inclusive rights and support equality for our LGBTI community, including myself, whom are extra vulnerable to stigma, exclusion and discrimination during the COVID-19 emergency," even if Pride looks different this year. To that end, they are pledging to donate $60,000 to the United Nations Free & Equal Campaign, alongside the launch of a 19-piece Pride collection for shoppers.


Teva has released a rainbow Pride collection with styles for men, women, and children. The colorful capsule includes their iconic flat style with a colorful ribbon, as well as bolder platform looks and range in price from $40 to $70.

Teva’s Senior Director of Global Marketing, Erika Gabrielli, shared how the brand has pivoted their plans in lieu of in-person celebrations for Pride Month, saying, “Teva is committed to celebrating individuality every day. COVID-19 may prevent city marches this year, but the cancellation of in-person celebrations doesn’t diminish the progress of the LGBTQ+ community. We launched our Rainbow Pride Pack with a donation of $20,000 to the It Gets Better Project to help foster the organization’s storytelling efforts and empower the LGBTQ+ community. Particularly in these challenging times, we want to remind LGBTQ+ youth around the world they are not alone.”

Happy Socks

Happy Socks has joined with The Phluid Project to celebrate Pride Month with a capsule of rainbow socks in every pattern, print, and dye. It is the second year that the two have partnered on such a collection—al gender-neutral, as Happy Socks always are. The collection is “designed to encourage people across the world to wear their pride every day.”

While the rainbow printed socks come in tie-dye, polka-dot, stripes, and more, they are also sold as half-pairs so that you can mix and match as your heart desires. 10% of all sales will be donated to The Trevor Project. And, while these socks have launched in honor of Pride celebrations during the month of June, they will be available all-year-round.