Behind the Design
Nike is proud to celebrate Pride with this year’s 2019 BETRUE collection, created in partnership with the Gilbert Baker Estate in support of our shared vision for a more inclusive future.
There are five shoes in the collection, and every shoe’s right sockliner will have the Pride flag’s eight colors with each color’s meaning, while every shoe’s left sockliner will be pink and have Baker’s signature. The 2019 BETRUE collection features meaningful symbols of Pride and Gilbert Baker, including the eight colors from the original rainbow flag, Baker’s signature and a nod to his trademark glitter shimmer.
In 1978, Gilbert Baker designed a new symbol for LGBTQIA+ activists and is said to have defined the modern LGBTQIA+ movement. Baker wanted to create something positive and prideful. He gathered a team of 30 volunteers in San Francisco’s Gay Community Center to hand dye and sew more than 1,000 yards of cotton and the rainbow flag was born. The eight-color rainbow symbolized the diversity of the LGBTQIA + movement, which each color representing a different pillar (sexuality, life, healing, sunlight, nature, magic/art, serenity and spirit). By 1990, the rainbow flag had become the global icon for LGBTQIA+ pride.
Nike designers gave each shoe a hand-crafted effect by embroidering things, including the eight-layer Swoosh on the Nike Air Max 90 BETRUE and the rainbow flag on the Tailwind 79.