We saw retailers, brands, and publishers make pledges to combat racism all over Instagram in the weeks following George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted around the country, but two of the fashion world’s insiders vowed to drive that reckoning with the birth of a new initiative. Teen Vogue‘s editor-in-chief, Lindsay Peoples Wagner, and publicist and owner of Sandrine Charles Consulting, Sandrine Charles, joined forces to launch the Black in Fashion Council in late June, and as evidenced by their ability to build warp-speed momentum and generate support across the industry, their efforts may just bring the meaningful change that fashion so desperately needs to combat systemic racism.
As outlined in the website’s mission statement, “The Black in Fashion Council was founded to represent and secure the advancement of black individuals in the fashion and beauty industry.” With the support of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and a network of more than 400 Black industry stakeholders that includes models and executives, as well as editors like Nikki Ogunnaike at GQ and stylists like Shiona Turini, the Black in Fashion Council has the access and credibility it needs to do that work. So what does that work look like? The Council will partner with companies to work from the inside out, using an equality index report to create actionable benchmarks for corporate policies around inclusion. In addition, they’ll help uplift Black talent across the industry through internship and mentorship programs, helping brands to make good on their promises to enact real change.
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