Black Fashion Leaders Set Out a Roadmap for Change

Model Joan Smalls has teamed up with the Black In Fashion Council, Color of Change and IMG.

max mara   runway   milan fashion week springsummer 2019
Jacopo RauleGetty Images

A number of leading Black fashion creatives have teamed up on a new project through which they have laid out a roadmap for real change regarding diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry. This has been created in order to take efforts further than simply making commitments with no plan of action.

The #ChangeFashion initiative has been founded by model and activist Joan Smalls, the Black In Fashion Council, Color of Change and IMG.

"What we wanted to do was move from rhetoric to action," Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change told the Business of Fashion. "We see our role as kind of working hand-in-hand, to make sure those goals are met."

The roadmap features four clear recommendations for organizations to follow in order to help achieve racial justice. These include; divesting from the police (and using independent security services where possible), investing in Black representation (specifically in cultural consultants to aid businesses in portraying authentic experiences for Black people, while also helping to elevate the careers of Black fashion creatives), investing in Black talent and advocating anti-racist training within these workplaces, and finally, engaging with the Black community by partnering with Black-owned businesses.

"I think it’s about continuing to apply pressure," Smalls told WWD about the initiative. "I think sometimes they feel if they’re inclusive one season, it’s enough. I think it’s always important that the change comes from within the company, not just the visuals or the narrative that the rest of the world is seeing. That’s where true change comes."

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