To celebrate Pride Month, Champion has launched its inaugural Pride range. Sissy Screens worked with the cult streetwear brand, alongside PUSH and TABOO, to produce the celebratory campaign for ‘Champions of Pride’.
The capsule collection is fronted by five queer artists from Australia and New Zealand, with the range’s signature colourful gradient style paying homage to the inherent uniqueness and diversity of the talent: musician Jesswar, artist Frances Cannon, DJ and producer Sullivan Patten, artist Joseph Althouse and dancer Elvis Lopeti.
ALLYSHIP & AUTHENTICITY
Sissy Screens Editor Tali Polichtuk asserts: “Pride is a chance for companies to demonstrate true allyship. It’s not enough to just peddle some bespoke products every June, there has to be authentic engagement with LGBTQIA+ communities, and a meaningful effort to improve equity at all times.”
The launch of the ‘Champions of Pride’ line marks a union between Pride and Queer Sporting Alliance, Australia and NZ’s largest LGBTQIA+ sporting club. It also heralds a partnership with Sissy Screens, with Champion proudly supporting our editorial efforts to create and commission authentic and nuanced queer screen content.
The importance of representation and queer cultural production are paramount, both in front and behind the camera. Sissy Screens engages queer and gender diverse crew on all moving image projects: from short films and editorial pieces, to commissioned content like the ‘Champions of Pride’ campaign. From cinematographers to gaffers, stylists to production assistants and everyone in between, teams of queer creatives serve to strengthen projects and create an inclusive and empowering atmosphere on set.
Sissy Screens asked each artist to consider a word that marks their relationship to Pride and their responses formed the basis of the campaign.
Fijian/Australian rapper Jesswar opted for ‘self-love’, explaining, “One of the most powerful things you can do is love yourself. I want to enjoy every second of this life and I want to wholeheartedly love myself no matter what.”
It’s a sentiment that non-binary artist Frances Cannon identifies with. “When I was in my early 20s, I made a purposeful decision to draw bodies that looked like mine,” they said. “To be celebrating my body and myself through my artwork has been really empowering.”
Dancer Elvis Lopeti chose ‘proud’ to celebrate body positivity. “I’ve always wanted to be a dancer, I’ve always had this doubt though because you never see people my size being that confident with themselves on stage. Me being surrounded by the community gave me that boost of confidence to be like ‘this is who I am and I just need to like, be me.’”
For DJ/Producer Sullivan Patten, ‘infinite’ encapsulates the fluidity of their identity. “What it means to be infinite is really for me, how I identify with queerness. It’s a fill-in-the-blank space of how you feel on any given day.”
Artist Joseph Althouse chose ‘dream’ in homage to his Aboriginal heritage: “In Tiwi, there’s a word called ‘Imballagnini’, which is queer man. Having that understanding that queer people existed thousands of years before colonisation and called themselves ‘Imballagnini’ means that all of these lives that have existed [before] I am connected to.”
Together, the artists represent the future of LGBTQIA+ culture: one that embraces inclusivity, solidarity, creativity, advocacy and, above all, pride.