Grindr Launches Merch Collaboration with Pol Anglada

by Matthew Wexler

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday March 23, 2021

If you think Grindr is solely for "social networking" (aka hooking up), think again. The 11-year-old app is reinventing its place in the queer cultural landscape with a new series of artist collaborations available in its merch store.

Debuting March 27, Grindr x Pol Anglada will feature Spanish-born, Paris-based artist Pol Anglada and include limited-edition shirts and prints. Future artist collaborations will be featured in Grindr's merch store throughout the year.

Anglada focuses on "the male form, queer activism and the vulnerability of sensuality," according to Grindr's recent announcement. Past collaborations have included work with fashion brands such as JW Anderson, Phipps International and others, and also co-founded the independent zine "Free Time."

The Grindr x Pol Anglada collection will feature limited-edition shirts and prints that celebrate the queer community's diversity while also calling out many of the issues and stigmas LGBTQ people face, including body shaming, HIV stigma, transphobia, racism and ableism.

"An image beats a thousand words, and that's how I aim to express myself through drawing," said Pol Anglada of the collaboration. "I grew up listening to punk music, and I draw huge influence from punk's subversive messages and its power as a medium of expression. The T-shirt is a really basic way to tell the world who and what you are."

"We are so excited to spotlight queer talent and connect amazing artists like Pol with our community," said Grindr's Patrick Rogers. "Fashion is such an integral part of self-expression as a queer person, and we can't wait for our users to see what Pol has in store for them."

The collaboration is Grindr's latest effort to celebrate queer talent and expand its reach beyond its use as a hookup app, which has been repeatedly tied to violent crimes such as the alleged robbery and murder of two Indianapolis gay men, the murder of a gay man in Texas, as well as privacy breach in Norway, costing the company $11.7 million in fines.

In addition to the artist collaboration, Grinder will launch its first original scripted series, "Bridesman," scheduled to premiere in fall 2021.

Matthew Wexler is EDGE's Senior Editor, Features & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at www.wexlerwrites.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.