Tackling Systemic Racism in the Fashion Industry
I everybody and welcome to today's be O. F. Live event. I'm Lauren Chairman Be Offs Executive Editor and I'm joined today by Brandis Daniel Chief Executive of Harlem's fashioned row Sandrine Charles founder of Sandrine. Charles. Consulting Henrietta Galina Brandon creative consultant, and today we're GONNA be talking about a really important topic always but you know especially in the last few months, how to tackle system racism in fashion it's a really big question I'm sure we'll only. Get Two to one or two points here. But but we want to do as much as we can, and in this hour that we have what I wanted to do I is for each of you to introduce yourselves and what you do in your own activists as well. So maybe talk a bit about what you've been working on in the last couple months as the civil rights movement has really come to the forefront in the US, Henrietta maybe we can start with you. I, everyone I'm Lena. I am a direct up by way of saying have been in the fashion industry for. About fifteen years now. What can range of. Brands. DIFFERENCE CASS grades. and. So. My wife is always been rooted increase efficiency inclusions I've asked. My wife tens of mocks stories. An image making and I would say, miss recently I WANNA be. confounds the cut initiative which Let's have a appoint Yucky. Great. Thank you brandis. What about you? I am the. Founder Pearl Fashion Row and icon sixty Harlem's fashion row has been doing this work thirteen years we on started really kinda focusing on designers of color in creating opportunities for them, connecting them with brands, press, and with consumers as well. we've also done several brand collaborations have been a great way to really bring diversity to brands who who may not have had. It were win couvert hit on the pandemic. We started a nonprofit icon sixty, which is basically a fine or designers of collar and We've been able to raise thanks to the NBA took over a million dollars in donations for designers of. Car. It sandrine last but not least I am. Sandrine. Charles of I have been working in the industry for thirteen years. Now, I own Sandrine Charles Salting, which is a week. Calms and Everything encompassing that agency her fashion and lifestyle brands. In addition, I'm the founder alongside Lindsay People's or the black and fashion council. Thank you offer for sharing that so. I think to start. This is a really big question, but obviously, the civil rights movement that's happening right now has been. Very prominent in the news in the last month, it's obviously never not existed but it suddenly. You know the fifteen percent pledge. Protest every single day. Brands are really saying I. WanNa make a difference they're publicly. Saying I'm going to do all these things to be more diverse, etc, etc. Now, a lot of their ex employees or or. You know. Consumers are calling them out for not practicing what what they are are pre chain and I'm curious to know from you all your all veterans in this industry you've you've witnessed this the systemic racism that is particular to fashion. What what do you think? The biggest issue is Ashen and that we can start working on or You know people are already working on but what is the? Biggest point that we need to tackle in order to start fixing all the little problems that have come out of this. Don't know if one of you wants to start. I'll. Brand half. Start I think on what Sandrine Lindsay is doing is asking with the Black Fashion Council asking brands to actually put a quantitative solution in place it's the same thing that Aurora Jane tasked with a fifteen percent pledge i. think the brands have to fully commit and the way that they can fully commit being you know here's exactly what we're going to do. So when you say I want my sales to get better you don't say go out to your. Team and say, you know what we want better cells next year what you do is you say WanNa ten percent increase we want to fifteen percent increase you know right so you create very clear goals so that you know if you're successful in meeting those goals or not successful meeting notes and if you're not successful, there are things you put in place to make sure you overcome that in me that all it's the same thing with this rain so I think. The first thing that Branston do is say, what is our commitment? What is our our firm commitment? Let's start with a very clear commitment and work our way back because my fear is that if we just start having conversations in conversation is a really key piece to this in having with lack people in non black people ruling to have honest dialogue. But my fear is that if we're only talking is the passion Unin die down in another. Year and I. think that's Oliver Fear Rate. But if you put a very clear plan in place and you say, this is what these are the numbers. We're GONNA hit across our organization that means in our leadership and on our boards because let's talk about boards and how they're barely any black people boards. There's only one black. CEO in the entire fashion industry. So that's just say what are we gonNa do across the Board in our organization? And then you work backwards from the air and doing what you have to do to to meet that goal.