Prada and Gucci, the two luxury fashion houses that have recently faced backlash over the use of blackface in their products, have chosen remedial action in the form of funding and creating space for black talent in the fashion industry.
Just last week you will remember the widespread criticism against Gucci for that balaclava turtleneck that many agreed was blackface. Late last year it was Prada and its trinkets.
Both brands have responded with attempts to address their ‘diversity issues’ with similar approaches.
Gucci immediately sent out an apology statement via Twitter on 7 February and followed up with its plan of action the following Monday listing pledges to make space for inclusivity in the company, but not before Dapper Dan had something to say about it.
In an Instagram post on Monday, Dapper Dan said Gucci got it “outrageously wrong” with its controversial turtlenecks that have since been pulled from Gucci stores and that “there cannot be inclusivity without accountability”.
The 98-year-old fashion giant says it is “a learning organisation”.
In an internal memo published by Fashionista.com, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri told the staff that the luxury brand will build a “global cultural awareness program” and a full program of scholarships in major cities, including New York, Nairobi, Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul, among other pledges.
Prada has also announced its plan to promote inclusivity and diversity with plans to “elevate voices of colour in the fashion industry” through talent development as well.
This luxury brand appointed film producer and director Ava DuVernay and artist Theaster Gates to co-chair a council to “advise the company as it invests in diverse talent development and expands opportunities for young students of colour in the fashion industry”.
#Prada announces artist and activist, @TheasterGates, and film director and producer @Ava Duvernay, will co-hair the Prada Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council to elevate voices of color within the company and the fashion industry at-large. pic.twitter.com/vfqzLbA3Hv— PRADA (@Prada) February 14, 2019
But it seems social media users are not convinced by these brands’ pledges:
View this post on Instagram
Right because people of color not only got to clean up but have the responsibility to educate. Thanks @prada! Now I feel less guilty and can continue my shopping while the racial ethics of your head designer Miuccia Prada are still questionable. Last month she failed to positively respond against racism and cultural sensitivity. she instead nodded towards how everyone gets offended. Whatever.?? #prada #iwantnada
Hummmm...must be losing money. Only time when many companies approach the diversity subject.— etwitts108 (@etwitts108) February 13, 2019
It's still crickets from Katy Perry since pulling her shoes that were accused of blackface.
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