You may remember DeVore Ledridge from Disney Channel's Bizaardvark, but in the years since the show’s end, their presence has exploded in the digital space— namely on TikTok where their main aim is to offer support, safety and some laughs for other LGBTQ+ youth. In addition to being an actor, digital creator and human rights activist, Ledridge is also a fashion designer. On the heels of debuting their first collection, they spoke with LA Confidential about collaborating with Soundoff, finding authenticity in the digital space and their upcoming podcast.
You recently partnered with Soundoff on a streetwear fashion collection just in time for Pride Month. What was it like designing from the line?
Designing the line was in some ways difficult, especially being that it was the first time I’ve had a direct hand in the creative process for something so big like this! Although, at the same time, I’ve always been so passionate and creative toward fashion, so many of the ideas came very easily! I sorted through thousands of ideas until I finally landed on my favorite. I decided to pull inspiration from 70’s-style Pride protest pins. I thought they were so powerful and meaningful, yet cute and fun to look at. I wanted to emulate that same feel with my collection.
What made Soundoff your ideal collaborator?
I really wanted to create a fashion project for a while, and when Soundoff initially reached out, I looked through their website at their existing collections and immediately wanted the clothes and patches for myself. When my manager and I had our first meeting with Soundoff , they were very interested in the idea of me taking the lead in the designing process. I felt so encouraged and supported. After that, I knew that Soundoff was going to be a perfect fit for the collaboration!
Proceeds from the collection go to OutRight Action International. What is important about this organization’s mission?
One of the most important things we can do right now for our queer community, and especially queer youth/queer POC youth, is make the world a safer place for them to not just exist, but to thrive. OutRight Action International works at regional and national levels to defend and advance human rights for LGBTQ+ people around the world. For that very reason, it felt like the perfect non-profit organization to partner with for this Pride campaign!
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You starred on Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark, which ended in 2019. Over the last few years, what have you found creatively fulfilling about pivoting to the digital space?
When pivoting to a personal digital space, you are allowed complete control over all of your content. You have the ability to create anything you want. You can make opportunities happen for yourself based on how you apply yourself to the creative process. Since transitioning to social media, I’ve had the chance to engage with my audience on a personal level, which has been my absolute favorite part. I really get to show my followers who I am, and have them be a large part of my life experiences and overall growth as a human.
We’re told you are working toward creating a human rights-focused podcast. How is the project coming along?
My podcast, “DeVoreUNSCRIPTED” is definitely my most exciting project as of recently. I receive direct submissions from fans about their struggles and triumphs with being queer, mental health and disabilities, body image, and relationship and friendship struggles. It’s amazing because I’m able to talk with them on a more personal level, while striving to provide validation, comfort and advice! Currently the podcast is in its post-production editing stage, but you can expect to see some sneak-peek clips very soon. I can’t say much, but the podcast will drop before the summer ends. Audiences can look forward to hearing their own stories and receiving advice from their favorite creators and artists, as well as getting the chance to hear my personal stories and struggles during my youth and my transition into adulthood.
Is there anything else important to know?
I want to remind everyone that when we are living through unfortunate times, as we currently are, we need support and community now more than ever. Be with the people that make you happy and do the things that you love. I love and appreciate everyone who is along with me for my journey. We are in this together, and I’m always a DM away if anyone needs some support or love.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Photography by: Will Gromley