In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests following the tragic death of George Floyd, the fashion industry is being held accountable for its cultural appropriation and lack of diversity.
So Lindsay Peoples Wagner, the editor in chief of Teen Vogue, and Sandrine Charles, the owner of Sandrine Charles Consulting, have come together to create the Black in Fashion Council, which will officially launch in July, ‘to represent and secure the advancement of black individuals in the fashion and beauty industry’.
They said in a statement, ‘As a collective, we envision a world in which black people in fashion and beauty spaces can be open and honest, guaranteed equal rights, and be celebrated for our voices. While we are working on our end, we encourage people in the industry to rise to the occasion to sustain long-term change.’
The council already counts 400 industry professionals, including models, stylists, editors and fashion executives, and its board of 35 members includes GQ deputy fashion director Nikki Ogunnaike, costume designer Shiona Turini, and Harlem’s Fashion Row founder Brandice Daniel.
As part of its commitment to diversify the fashion and beauty industry on all levels, the council will create an equality index, in partnership with LGBTQ advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign. It will work with brands and corporations to create an index score over the next three years to make sure this is a sustainable process beyond a black square on Instagram.
Lindsay People Wagner told Vogue, ‘the Human Rights Campaign already has a corporate equality index for people with disabilities and the LGBTQ community that companies like Kering are already a part of. This would be a way to continue to give companies a report card of accountability without them feeling like they’re being shamed into it, and giving them the actual resources of what people are saying they want to see changed.’
This comes days after celebrity stylist Raw Loach, hair artist Lacy Redway and designer and stylist Jason Rembert formed the Black Fashion & Beauty Collective to support black creatives within the fashion and beauty industry.
With yesterday’s news that Paris Fashion Week will be going ahead in the physical form, it will be interesting to see whether we start seeing a change there.