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Apple Watch Upgrades to Pride Edition Bands, Watch Face

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday May 18, 2021

The Apple Pride Edition Loop and Watch Face
The Apple Pride Edition Loop and Watch Face  (Source:Courtesy of Apple)

Apple has announced a new Pride Edition Apple Watch band and an upgraded watch face option, both of which incorporate the six colors of the standard Pride flag as well as additional colors for broader representation, People magazine reported.

The new band — officially called the Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop — "artfully weaves together the original rainbow colors with those drawn from various Pride flags to represent the breadth of diversity among LGBTQ+ experiences and the history of a movement that has spanned generations," Apple noted in a statement, while the "special Pride watch face beautifully mirrors the new colors of the band to represent the combined strength and mutual support of the LGBTQ+ movement."

The release also noted that the watch face's colorful palette of color threads "infinitely scroll and animate with a raise of the wrist," and that the company "is also including new App Clip functionality within the band packaging to deliver a simple and convenient way for customers to immediately access the new matching watch face."

People magazine pointed out the meanings of the new colors, explaining that the additions of the colors "black and brown to the traditional rainbow design symbolize Black and Latinx communities, in addition to those who have passed away from or are living with HIV/AIDS."

The article also added: "Light blue, pink, and white have been added to represent transgender and nonbinary individuals."

One of Apple's new Pride-themed watch bands and its new watch face
One of Apple's new Pride-themed watch bands and its new watch face  (Source: Courtesy of Apple)

The original Pride flag, credited to Gilbert Baker, incorporated eight colors, each representing a specific quality, such as spirituality (purple), nature (green), and — decades before the design of the transgender flag — pink (for sexuality) and turquoise (for art). Eventually, the most common form of the flag comprised the familiar six stripes. Apple is also selling a new Nike Sport Loop that uses the standard six Pride flag colors and is fashioned from light-reflective material.

The Pride color palette's expansion to include the colors black and brown for LGBTQ people of color, as well as the reintroduction of pink and turquoise in honor of transgender individuals, has taken place in the last few years, with several new Pride flag designs — in particular, a 2018 update by Daniel Quasar — reflecting a broader diversity.

People quoted Interim Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers as saying, "As a Black-woman and non-binary queer person I am delighted to see my trans and non-binary siblings represented."

GLSEN board member and activist Dominique Morgan, who serves as a model for promotional images of the new loop and watch face designs, said, "I am not only thinking about the beautiful shade of pink and the trans flag as a trans woman but as a black trans woman, the brown color really represents my skin and my people," People reported.

Apple CEO Tim Cook underscored the historical significance of the new design, saying, "Even before the events at the Stonewall Inn brought the LGBTQ+ movement to new prominence, Black, Brown, and transgender activists were key leaders in the march toward equality."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Pride 2021

This story is part of our special report titled Pride 2021. Want to read more? Here's the full list.