While most brands play it safe and play with the rainbow for their Pride collections, Demna Gvasalia will do no such thing. The Balenciaga designer has unveiled his celebratory capsule for Balenciaga — and all you need to do is look at the hoodies to see just how “Gay” it is.
Ever the fan of corporate logo parodies, Gvasalia has transformed the iconic Gap hoodie to read simply, “Gay.” It isn’t just the block letters that have been altered, though, as the Balenciaga hoodie comes in the perfect oversized proportions. For a full “Gay” fit, the Gap remix will also appear on hats and T-shirts that’ll go on sale next month.
First shown as part of Balenciaga’s Pre-Fall 2021 collection, the Pride capsule has been confirmed for an “early June” release, and 15 percent of the proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project — which should be a nontrivial amount of coin given Balenciaga’s prices.
Pride that’s personal — Balenciaga’s Pride collection also includes rainbow strapped underwear, with the real showstopper coming in the form of the brand’s very first jockstrap. “I’m gay. I grew up in a society where I couldn’t have worn that, and there are places in the world that you cannot today,” Gvasalia told Vogue upon unveiling the collection. “It’s important to push through against homophobia. I’m not someone who goes out in the street and shouts. But this is the political fashion activism that I can do.”
While his designs for the Pride collection aren’t overtly complex, they don’t lack for power with the context of Gvasalia’s background. Under his stead, Balenciaga has become the master of meme-worthy clothing — and the “Gay” Gap gear uses that effect to claim space for the LGBTQA+ community. And less importantly, a rainbow-strapped Balenciaga jockstrap is simply going to look awesome at Pride parades.
Campaign images for the capsule, which wasn’t shown in a typical runway setting, were shot across the world to symbolize global solidarity. The fact that there are still places where you can’t wear Balenciaga’s Pride capsule is only more reason to rock it where you can.