American fashion designer Todd Snyder launched a Pride capsule collection for his namessake brand this week, fronted by the likes of Billy Porter, Dominique Jackson, Milk, and Jenna Lyons among others. Twenty percent of the collection’s sales will support the Stonewall National Monument through a donation to the National Parks Foundation.
“For me, my biggest concern [with this project] from the get-go was to make sure we had a give back element,” Snyder told Out in an interview. The designer, who is also an executive vice president of American Eagle, revealed the collection and campaign exclusively to Out. “We didn’t want to just do something gratuitous. The [Stonewall] Monument, to me, especially with it being the 50 year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, was the best place we identified as the channel to do that. We actually wanted to do something.”
The collection itself is a range of t-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants and sweatshorts priced from $70 to $168, some of which were done in collaboration with brands like New Era and Champion.
“When we started working on the architecture for this campaign, I kept circling around the idea of individual voices and how to distill those voices to pay due respect to this particular moment,” Todd Snyder Art Director Phillip Gutman, who largely headed up the effort, said in an email interview. “We also wanted to speak more broadly to the individuals in the community who see themselves in the story.” In addition to Porter, Jackson, Milk and Lyons, the extensive campaign also includes Eric Rutherford, Frank Muytjens, James Whiteside, Lea DeLaria, Scout Rose, Ora Wise and more.
In addition to photos, shot by Ryan Pfluger, the campaign also includes videos of the models describing what Pride means to them. “A lot of them got teary eyed which we didn’t really show because this was more about the fun and the celebration but they were very serious stories,” Snyder said. And though Snyder is not queer himself, he sees it all as a very important cause.
“I grew up in Iowa, moved here 20 plus years ago, and I try to give back in every way I can,” he said. “Whether that’s giving my time to help people or something else. I just want to make sure I’m doing things that are meaningful to all of us. I think it’s important for business leaders to play the role of helping and doing things that are positive together.”
“To me, being an ally is understanding the struggles that other people have and paying respect to it and doing what we all know is right for the greater good.” The collection officially launches Wednesday but is available to Out readers today, here.