ASOS has teamed up with GLAAD and 13 Reason’s Why star Tommy Dorfman for a powerful new collection.
The eight piece unisex line, designed in-house with ASOS, includes jersey basics and jewelry with the ‘&’ symbol, which represents GLAAD’s Together Movement, which takes a stand against discrimination against communities including Muslims, Immigrants and LGBTQ people.
Teaming up with global powerhouse ASOS, the simple and effective message of everyone coming together deserves to be heard loud and clear.
Attitude was invited along to the international launch, along with RuPaul’s Drag Race star Michelle Visage, activist Munroe Bergdorf and Aaron and Austin Rhodes for an intimate dinner. We sat down with Tommy, and Anthony Ramos, the Director of Talent Engagement at GLAAD to talk about the project:
How important was it with you to work with ASOS, which is a huge global brand, when the Together Movement is dealing with marginalised communities?
Anthony: ASOS seemed like the perfect fit because they have so many of the same goals and similar messages that we at GLAAD do. They really represent inclusion, and for us trying to get people to come together and accept people for who they are and celebrate their differences. We found that ASOS really did that through the clothing that they sell and try to encourage people to try different things and be accepting of everything. It seemed like a very natural fit.
Tommy: It’s really groundbreaking that ASOS are really taking a stand, not only with their casting but also really truly taking a stand by collaborating with an organisation such as GLAAD whose entire mission is to help marginalised groups across the board. It started specifically for LGBTQ people and now especially concerning he political climate at the moment, the outreach has gone beyond that.
It’s especially important that they’re a brand that is at an achievable price point, that teenagers love and the youth wear all the time. It’s super exciting and to be able to be involved with this project in any way and get that message out there has been extremely meaningful.
Have you found there is a big shift in brands and celebrities speaking out on LGBTQ issues?
Anthony: It’s been so much more recently that brands celebrities etc are understanding how important it is to work with us and promote equality and strive for acceptance among people. Tommy has been a dream to work with- not only is he gay, he’s very well dressed from a fashion perspective (fearless is the way I would describe it!) What really fuels him is his activism.
He’s someone who has such a following and uses he voice to help LGBTQ youth out there.
Tommy: It’s interesting to come at my career from a place of already being out. I didn’t reserve that from the the press for a certain part of my career. No judgement either way, it was just the choice I made to come out.Putting myself back in the the closet was never an option or a reality for me.
I knew that i would have been miserable, pretending to be something that I’m not, and I feel like a lot of what I do stems from pioneering for LGBTQ people. I still don’t see roles like me represented by in the movie really at all, so being able to be part of that and continue that growth is the journey that i’m on.
Do you think more people will start using their voice? And do you think brands such as ASOS are important for that?
Tommy: One hundred percent, it’s really hard to do something on your own, it’s really hard to be that one person speaking out. You can be really impactful having discourse with people one on one, but to have a brand like ASOS that has such a huge global reach and fanbase makes a big difference.
Especially for kids that feel like their not supported by their families and their communities, to see a brand like ASOS that is so successful pioneering for them when they can’t always speak for themselves can truly save lives. I think projects like GLAAD’s Together Movement, that’s on such a great scale really does have a big impact.
Do you think that brands like GLAAD and ASOS reach such a wide ranging audience can help educate people?
Tommy: I’ve know that from first hand experience coming from a show (13 Reason’s Why) that has educated people. We can’t underestimate our allies. To stop and say that because someone is homophobic, that they will never not be homophobic, is a resistance in a ‘fuck you’ way and isn’t productive.
I think if we can have the conversation and continue to show same sex couples and people of colour and people of different religions through mass media and commercialisation, it can only benefit the message that GLAAD are promoting.
How import to get these messages to younger people?
Tommy: It’s extremely important, as these are the people that are going to run the world. They’re the people that are going to continue the advocate for change and be politicians and be creators one day.
And how important is it to have the likes of Tommy on board with such an important project?
Anthony: The Together Movement that is so important to us, as it’s not just about LGBTQ, it’s encompassing of inclusion and standing together. Tommy really has the substance and he knows about these issues to back everything up. The best thing was getting to know him on a person level let us know that that this kid really wants to make a difference.
He wants to fight for us and stop at nothing for equality. He’s such a fighter and he is so young, and i love that he is using his voice for something good. He is not just one of those Hollywood kids that has access to everything. He;s using his fame for a good cause.
The collection starts from £7 and is available on asos.com now, with proceeds going to the charity.