With all that’s going on in the world it’s hard to turn the other cheek to systematic disadvantages for black people in America, and the fashion industry is no different.
Jason Bolden (stylist to Tariji P Henson, Yara Shahidi, Stormi Reid, Ava Duvernay and more) recently spoke out against french luxury fashion house Celine after they expressed how they stand against all forms of racism. He responded under their post saying, “Wait really, you guys don’t dress any black celebs unless they have a white stylist”. He also provided an exclusive statement to Fashion Bomb Daily, typing, “They used this moment to just save themselves. My rage is more about that! They don’t care about people/cause! They are part of the problem”
We wanted to hear more from stylists, designers and models on how they feel about how the fashion industry is responding to the black lives matter movement and what could be done to improve the current climate.
Law Roach, who has styled Tiffany Haddish, Zendaya, Celine Dion and more, wrote, “The fashion business is no different than any other business in America. It wasn’t built for US to win!”
Jeremy Haynes who has styled Kandi, Toya Johnson, Monica and so many more says, “Our culture has come along way to be recognized in the fashion world. If you are black and have that platform in the industry , open the door for more of your people to shine”
Zadrian Smith spoke about his internal struggle and what he will do moving forward to change the narrative: “As a stylist, working in the fashion industry has not been easy. Often, I’ve remained silent, when I should’ve spoken out, fearing I might lose a job or client. It’s a constant battle of trying to co-exist in rooms and spaces where there’s not a lot of people that look like you. So, you don’t want to be the one to cause a fuss. However, those days are now gone! Moving forward, when I see injustice, I will challenge the status quo to do and be better. What I am personally vowing to do is utilise both my knowledge and resources to service those in marginalised communities so that they can aspire to greatness!“
Kollin Carter, stylist to Cardi B, Normani, and Sofia Richie offers, “I want fashion houses to realize that inclusion based solely on your profit of a dollar or your fear of being viewed as racist is not inclusion at all, it’s corruption”
Sergio Hudson who has designed ensembles worn by Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Tracee Ellis Ross, Queen Latifah and so many more says, “Mindsets have to change. There is more than just a lack of inclusion in our industry, but also the deep need for us to truly support our black brands.”
Lastly, stylist Scottie Louie wants black people in the industry to be used for more than just inspiration. He wrote, “Take our work off your mood boards and put us on your sets”.
Despite the odds stacked against them, these industry leaders have managed to knock down doors not intended for them to walk through and provide inspiration for those to follow.
What do you think?