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THE / INITIATIVE:

A 3-point plan to increase equal access to employment for Black designers

On Jan. 18, 2018 a landmark op-ed was published in the Business Of Fashion, detailing the phenomenon of employment discrimination faced by Black fashion designers pursuing roles within mainstream brands. 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:
1. Design

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.