In an additional show of support, the CFDA will make immediate contributions to the NAACP, Campaign Zero, and other organizations doing important social justice work.

By Balthazar Malevolent


Following a board meeting on the 2nd of June, the Council of Fashion Designers of America shared a statement signed by its president, Tom Ford, and CEO, Steven Kolb, outlining a number of initiatives aimed at achieving racial equality in the fashion industry. At a time when many large brands and conglomerates have remained silent, sharing vague platitudes on social media or dragging their feet when it comes to donating money, the letters and initiatives outlined are signaling a step in the right direction. It's also a remarkable example of clear acknowledgment of the problems black people are facing in the business and the society at large.

CFDA Response to the George Floyd Protests.

"In view of the deplorable acts of racism and violence in the US, we have witnessed over the past week, our reply as an organization has been primarily in our minds and hearts," the letter states. "Black people in this country are suffering from years of oppression arising from social systems such as slavery, apartheid, mass incarceration, police brutality and the repression of the economy and electorate. In addition to the impact of the global pandemic that has struck color societies the hardest, the Black community is experiencing indignation and resentment.

They have also added in no uncertain terms that simply speaking out or standing in solidarity is not enough. The statement identified a range of initiatives that will come into action immediately: an in-house jobs program for placing black creative talent in all sectors of the industry by matching them with open-position businesses, an internship and mentoring system for placing black students and recent graduates in programs at existing brands, and the introduction and distribution of Diversity and Inclusion training programs for all members of the council. They also shared that they will urge members to take stock of their corporate structure and products to ensure that they are representative of the industry's black talent.

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