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New Denim Tears and Converse Collab Champions the Black Vote

Rivet's 2020 Denim Circularity report takes a deep dive into how the global denim industry is plotting its circular future amidst a worldwide pandemic.

Creative director Tremaine Emory, known for his Denim Tears brand, is calling on the Black community to vote—and he’s drawing awareness with a special partnership with heritage sneaker brand Converse.

The Converse x Denim Tears collaboration reimagines the Chuck 70 as an expression of Black identity, applying the African-American flag—a common symbol used in Denim Tears designs—to the canvas sneaker for the first time.

Denim Tears’ past work is rife with nods to Black heritage. Since launching in 2019, streetwear-focused Denim Tears has employed art, spoken word and product design “as conduits and embraces a belief that change is sparked through conversation.” In January for Black History month, the brand partnered with Levi’s for a poignant collection highlighting the story of cotton in the U.S. and a legacy intertwined with slavery.

Emory said hopes the sneaker design helps more people feel seen. “My favorite All Star is the red, white and blue one,” he said in a statement. “Applying the red, black and green puts the Black gaze on that version, making something just as cool—but allowing more people to see themselves in it. It’s about creating a metaphor for Black people having a part in this country that they built.”

Converse and Denim Tears worked together on initiatives that takes the partnership far beyond a newly designed sneaker, which will be available exclusively via Denimtears.com on Oct. 23. A global release is scheduled for Oct. 29 at Converse.com and select retailers.

To highlight the importance of civic engagement, the brands appointed artist collective For Freedoms as creative partner for the campaign, which will be featured in a short film and graphic voting series that debuts later this month across digital and physical platforms. They also partnered with the Whitaker Group, a Black-owned experiential retailer, to distribute the graphic series in five states: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.

The brands are accompanying their efforts with contributions to voting organizations: Converse donated to various voting initiatives, furthering the efforts of its ongoing Vote campaign, which has seen more than 20,000 people register to vote or check their registration status. Denim Tears will donate all proceeds of the Converse footwear collaboration from sales made on Denimtears.com to For Freedoms and Black Voters Matter.

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