BLACK / DESIGNERS / MATTER
We have committed to advocating for Black fashion professionals to be equitably considered for design roles—especially those at the upper management and executive levels. We believe that transparency breeds the sort of accountability that will actively combat the normalized employment discrimination faced by generations of talented Black designers.
On Jan. 18, 2018 a landmark op-ed was published in the Business Of Fashion, detailing the phenomenon of race-based employment discrimination faced by the community of Black fashion designers. These talented and committed individuals too often are prevented from equitably accessing roles within the design studios of mainstream brands, resulting in their indefinite professional instability as a result of unemployment and/or under-employment. Not content to simply chronicle challenges, the piece offers actionable solutions in the form of proposing that the CFDA and American Vogue partner on an initiative aimed at adopting the cultures of transparency currently being utilized within the tech industry to promote accountability regarding the reality of anti-Black discrimination as it factors in the work of building diversity and inclusion.
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.