Chinyere Ezie had time last year. After seeing Pradamalia Figurines that resembled Monkeys in Blackface in a Prada store window, Ms. Ezie, after tweeting about the incident, filed an official complaint against Prada with New York’s Commission on Human Rights, citing the display as a violation of human rights laws (which include racial discrimination).
Ms. Ezie, who works as a civil rights lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights, had the balls to do what many who have been in the fashion industry for years have been too scared to do: file a formal complaint with a governmental organization .
While many fashion insiders may complain on social media or write about various racial insensitive incidents as they bubble up (as we do here), few have taken it to the government. Now many fashion companies may be legally obligated to make diverse hires so that similarly offensive instances never happen again.
As for Prada, they have established a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, chaired by Ava Duvernay. They have also been required by the Human Rights commission to provide sensitivity training and to appoint a diversity and inclusion officer to screen items before they go on sale.
I’m personally happy to see these improvements in diversity and racial sensitivity. Ms. Ezie is about her business and we are finally seeing some actionable solutions to endemic issues that plague our industry.
What do you think?
Read more at the NY Times