20,000 signatures reached
To: Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue
#BreakSilenceBreakCeilings: End Employment Discrimination Against Black Designers
Let's call on the CFDA and Vogue to launch a comprehensive industry initiative that creates equitable employment inroads for Black designers.
Why is this important?
Black designers continue to face systemic employment discrimination within the mainstream fashion industry. This renders them generally incapable of landing upper management and executive roles, and—as evidenced by H&M’s “Coolest Monkey in The Jungle” hoodie photographed on a young Black boy—often allows for the irresponsible dissemination of insensitive, insulting, and/or exploitative depictions of Blackness within advertising.
I recently launched a social media campaign, #breaksilencebreakceilings to address just these issues. Attention around the campaign, resulted in me publishing a game-changing op-ed “Why Aren’t There More Black Designers”, last week in the Business of Fashion. Not content with merely listing complaints throughout the piece, I delivered actionable steps toward dynamic change, charging the Council of Fashion Designers of America and American Vogue to partner on initiating a 3-pronged plan to engage the fashion design and recruitment communities in greater transparency and more equitable hiring practices.
The proposed initiative aims to reform an industry that has normalized the exclusion of Black professionals. Design and recruitment industry participants would be availed of comprehensive bias mitigation training and hiring-practice audits.
By signing this petition, you will amplify this call-to-action directed at the CFDA and Vogue, organizations that have a responsibility to no longer turn a blind eye to the fashion industry's marginalization of Black talent. Collectively, our signatures will #breaksilencebreakceilings, declaring that time's up for employment discrimination against Black designers.
Proposed CFDA/Vogue Partner Programme:
Purpose: address the non-meritocratic appraisal of design talent that most consistently disadvantages Black professionals.
- Design-studio racial stats disclosure.
- Immersive hiring manager bias elimination training.
- Pledge of commitment to creating equitable inroads for Black talent via meritocratic hiring practices.
2. Headhunting & Recruitment
Purpose: address the consistent denial of fair access and representation for prime opportunities for Black design talent.
- Compliance with auditing of recruitment and headhunting practices by contracted third party.
- Pledge of commitment to creating equitable inroads for Black talent via meritocratic representation.
3. Talent Pool & Academic Communities
Purpose: bring greater visibility to consumers, students, talent pool and media regarding overall industry commitment to change regarding inroads for Black design professionals.
- Annual disclosure/endorsement by CFDA/Vogue of participating brands, along with statistics regarding the racial composition of their design teams.
- Annual disclosure/endorsement of participating headhunters and recruitment firms.