We have partnered with Michigan independent artist Mattea Turenne on this new custom sneaker artist collection! Turenne is a butch lesbian illustrator of color who loves to create pieces that are colorful and fun for people to look at, but also creates work about her intersectional identity and experiences. The designs for this collection all come from Turenne's original art work and represent the little things that bring us happiness in our day to day lives.
Turenne herself is autistic and when we asked what charity or organization she wanted to help high light and use the collection to raise donations for, she chose Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network (AWN). "The mission of Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN) is to provide community, support, and resources for Autistic women, girls, nonbinary people, and all others of marginalized genders" as shared on AWN's website and when explaining their mission statement. Ten percent of every sale from the Mattea's Doodles Collection is donated to AWN to help support their mission and inclusive community efforts.
In the past we created a design with primary a colored puzzle pattern on the tops of white slip on Vans. Thanks to Turenne and other members of the autistic community, they have kindly voiced their opinions and past experiences with the negative connotations to the puzzle piece symbol associated with autism and correlation with Autism Speaks which is a foundation that we do not support nor do their beliefs align with our company code of ethics. Since then we have removed the product and taken the time to have an open discussion and listen to voices from the autistic community. We want to thank Turenne and the autistic community for giving us the opportunity to listen, learn, and take action towards being better allies. We are proud to acknowledge our past mistakes and how we have grown and learned from them. We are even more proud and thankful to have the opportunity to work with Mattea Turenne on this incredible custom sneaker artist collection and to raise money and awareness to help support Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network and their mission for Autistic women, girls, and nonbinary people.