The London-based designer Chet Lo swiped right on Tinder, with a loved-up collaboration set to arrive just before Valentine’s Day. Gone are the days matching ankle bracelets — in 2024, we’re wearing “Ur so hot” baby tees, because, well, you are.
Unapologetic and authentically itself, Chet Lo x Tinder “The Lovestruck” collection encapsulates the trials and tribulations of our generation’s dating life, especially with the arrival of online dating. No more courting and no more waiting for marriage, our generation is willing to move onto the next before fully giving up the prior, just because we can.
For this collection, Chet created a series of playful baby tees, all carefully curated with its fun slogan. From “Chaotic” to “Commitment
phobe,” the collection taps into our meme-ified minds and feelings, proudly waving a high sense of self-assurance amid three-month situationships that are destined to end in a case of ghosting.
Accompanying the baby tees is the “Kiss Me” beanie in the designer’s signature spikes detailing. While visually self-obsessed, the collection is far from it. In line with Tinder’s commitment to offering a safe space for LGBTQ+ members to explore their sexuality and identity, Chet and the dating app have partnered with akt, the charity focused helping youths at risk of, or already experiencing homelessness. 20% of all sales from the Chet Lo x Tinder collection will go to akt, helping those in a vulnerable position.
Ahead of the collection release, we caught up with Chet to talk about his designs, the importance of Tinder to the LGBTQ+ community, dating green flags and red flags, marriage, divorce, and most importantly, slaying.
The Lovestruck collection features an array of tongue-in-cheek slogans like “don’t be sad, ur so hot.” How did you come up with this concept?
There’s so many kinds of hilarious memes, especially about dating. There’s this one that’s really funny of this guy that is just like shirtless chatting to a girl on Snapchat. He’s like, ‘no, don’t be sad. You’re so hot.’ I just love that so much. There are so many hilarious [memes] and there was so much material there. For me, personally, I’ve been in the dating world, and it’s rough out there. I think making light heart of it is way better than taking it too seriously, might as well just have some fun with it [and] make it funny.
Out of all the tees you’ve designed, which one do you relate to the most and why?
Chaotic is honestly very descriptive of my personality type. And also the artwork for it is so cute. It’s definitely my favourite one. I also love a little tank, so that’s perfect for me.
You hit the nail on the head with this one. There seems to be, with our generation, this ‘I don’t give a f*ck’ mentality, especially when it comes to dating, that past generations have not had, and which you so perfectly encapsulated with this collection. What do you attribute this mentality to?
Our generation is the first one where we’ve grown up, obviously, with technology. It’s second nature to us. With social media, you’re able to see everyone’s lives, you’re able to see how everyone’s dating, and you’re able to see everyone’s mishaps. You no longer have this rigid [mindset] of like, ‘I need to date like this, or I need to date like that.’ There’s so many different possibilities out there, so it kind of doesn’t matter anymore.
Nothing matters, so it’s kind of becomes this ‘I don’t give a f*ck’ personality [type]. This guy rejects you, you know that there’s another one out there, you know what I mean? It’s not like you’re being courted for three months, and then you’re gonna get married. Or even if you do get married, well you’re just gonna get divorced and have a fifth marriage, and that’s a slay.
Things like that don’t matter because they don’t have as much societal pressure as they used to. I feel like that’s why our generation is having a lot more fun with dating. Obviously, it sucks. Sometimes it can be hard and it can be really disheartening, but at the same time, you have that idea [of] onto the next one, because it’s easier now than ever. It all just flows off people’s backs now.
And also, I want to be a spinster by the time I’m 80 [years old]. I’ll just have my dog and my cats. I’ll have the slayest people around me. I don’t need to be married, it’s just a vibe.
Dating has drastically changed since the arrival of Tinder, and one of the best things that’s come out of that is the fact that members of the LGBTQ+ can safely find each other. How else do you think Tinder changed dating, specifically within an LGBTQ+ frame?
Definitely, as you touched on in the question, it’s so beautiful that it allows people to maybe come out to the world before coming out to their loved ones – obviously, that’s a very scary kind of interaction to have. I have a couple of friends [who] have come out older in life because they were raised in a very strict household, or a very religious household, and they’re just very scared of not being welcomed or being exiled from the family. So I think having that kind of platform is a [great way] to be able to be like, ‘I’m just gonna test this out to see if it fits me right now.’
There was a period of time when I was identifying as fluid and I remember thinking ‘I’m gonna test this out to see if it fits me.’ Then, a year later, I was like, ‘you know what, I actually identify as a man and that’s okay.’ There’s a lot of fluidity throughout the world and I think it’s important that you have that platform to be able to experiment, to be able to try new things and meet new people.
That definitely has also given our generation a bit more leeway. We’ve just given ourselves a bit more of a break. You no longer need to put yourself in a box. Tinder being such a democratic platform, it allows yourself to really just experiment to play. I think it’s a beautiful thing. I’m so happy that people are able to do that and have this outlet and space that they can feel safe in.
Tell us about your commitment to Akt, the LGBTQ+ supporting charity.
What I’ve always tried to do throughout my collections is be able to help people, to explain a little bit of my life story, and be able to relate to people, to provide some sort of solace through the collections. In this case, we have the funds to be able to actually support a charity.
Akt provides safe homing for LGBTQ+ youths who essentially have been displaced because of their coming out, or [other] circumstances. I’m so fortunate and I’m so privileged to have parents that welcomed me and loved me and supported me. But I have a lot of friends [whose] parents still don’t know. They’re still living in fear and they’re 35 [years old]. So imagine if you were a 16 or a 13 year old, coming out as trans and your family is incredibly religious [or] unwelcoming. God forbid you get kicked out of your house and what are you going to do? You’re 13, you know. It’s unfortunate that we still need these kinds of schemes or this charity, but I’m honoured to be able to work with them and to be able to give back.
What is a dating profile red flag that would make you instantly swipe left on Tinder?
There’s so many of them. I mentioned it in my last collection, but if they’ve clearly got yellow fever something going on over there, I’m not liking it. Also, if you’re not able to respond to me within like, half a day or a day, something’s off. Either you died, or something is going on. Something tragic must have happened because why else aren’t you talking to me right now?
And I don’t like smarty pants. There’s no need for that.
And a green flag that would make you swipe right?
Golden retriever energy. That’s my favourite.
What are your Valentine’s Day plans?
I am working. Our show is on the 16th [of February], so we are full speed ahead. I never get to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
It always is during London [Fashion Week], isn’t it? At least you’ll be spending time doing something you love.
Exactly! I’m still spending time with people that I love – I love my team, I love my girls.
Swipe right to the Chet Lo x Tinder “The Lovestruck” collection here, releasing on January 30.
Main image credit: Chet Lo x Tinder ©
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