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On March 11, join Vanessa Freedman, New York Times fashion director and industry leaders such as Olivier Rouesting and Pierpolo Piccioli, as they debate how industries can create real change.
But there is still a very long way to go
When it comes to the power structure of established brands, and the designers who represent them, the black representation is incredibly small.
Of the 64 brands we approached, only Off-White has a Black Chief Executive – and the man, Virgil Ablo, is also the founder.
Of those 69 designers or creative directors in those companies, only four are Black. (One of them, Mr. Ablow, runs two brands: Off-White and Louis Vuitton Men’s Apparel; the rest are Balmain’s Olivier Rousting; Nina Risky and Kanye West’s co-designers; Rushmi Botter). One after another when LVMH and Rihanna posed at their Fenty fashion house. At the head of a prominent Parisian luxury brand was a black woman. No one is now.
Five top designer jobs have appeared since the summer. Four blondes and one Uruguayan Latina woman went to Gabriela Hearst.
And of the brands we investigated, only six, and their three parent companies, Work With Black in the Fashion Council. Those companies are all American, despite the fact that the council works with other international organizations.
Of the 15 public companies in the group, seven have boards with at least one black director. Of them, two (Capri and Ralph Lauren) are more than one.
Retail establishments and magazines likewise lack black representation in leadership.
Two of the seven retailers responded, or whose C-suite information was publicly available, are the same Black member of the executive team. No one else is there.
Two of the nine magazines we checked include international editions of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle, led by Black editors.
Of the retailers we surveyed, 15 had joined the parent plan: Bloomingdale’s and, this month, Moda Operandi. One company, MatchFashion, Published How designers of their own breakdown reported their ethnicity – but out of 715 designers, 223 did not react.
Among the magazines, Vogue and InStyle have signed a pledge to commission at least 15 percent of Black Talent, including photographers and writers.