In the wake of the recent rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, many fashion entities have expressed their solidarity with the cause, as well as with Black people that work within the fashion industry. However, the outpour of support by brands has been met with a tidal wave of negative feedback by many of the industry's own, detailing how many crowd-favorite clothing companies, magazines and everything in-between have been guilty of racial discrimination. The negative criticism has been so intense that industry powerhouses like Anna Wintour have released statements acknowledging and apologizing for the unfair treatment many Black people have received within the industry. It was clear that fashion's race problem went beyond a single H&M ad or Gucci sweater; something more impactful than an apology needed to be done.
One way Black industry leaders have decided to act is through the newly created Black in Fashion Council. The council, founded by the editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, Lindsay Peoples Wagner, and publicist and owner of Sandrine Charles Consulting, Sandrine Charles, intends to hold the fashion industry accountable to many of its statements of support for Black people splattered across social media in the wake of George Floyd's death. Per the council's website, it aims to "represent and secure the advancement of Black individuals in the fashion and beauty industry." Their mission statement also challenges non-Black people within fashion to step-up in order to "sustain long-term change."
The Black in Fashion Council includes over 400 Black fashion and beauty stakeholders across different professions and has already received endorsements of support from organizations such as the Council of Fashion Designers of America. In addition to working with fashion companies on their inclusion efforts, including using an equality index report to benchmark how corporations and brands are performing against specific measures, they will also create mentorship and internship programs for Black talent. While it is clear that the fashion industry has a long way to go in its efforts to become more diverse and inclusive, the Black in Fashion Council is making sure Black people not only have a seat at the table but are also the people leading the meeting.