First-of-its-kind directory of black fashion professionals launched – WWD

Those who still rely on the story that it’s hard to find black fashion professionals may soon run out of excuses.

On Tuesday, IMG’s Color of Change and #ChangeFashion, along with the Black in Fashion Council, launched what’s called the “first directory focused on increasing opportunities for black professionals in the fashion industry.” .

Created earlier this month, the #ChangeFashion initiative – a joint effort between racial justice organizations Color of Change, IMG, BIFC and model and actress Joan Smalls – aims to help address the exclusivity issue of fashion. fashion with a roadmap and resources for racial equity. The directory is the first such resource to be released.

This is the beginning of facilitating change.

“Change depends on us. This is why the BIFC x #ChangeFashion directory is so needed,” Amity Paye, Color of Change’s senior communications director, told WWD. “Not only is it the very first resource that can inspire the fashion industry to hire black people and talent, but it is an example of how black people can show our power. With this tool, we advocate for real justice and show what “better looks like” by creating a real solution that can truly diversify the industry.

The directory contains the profiles and resumes of more than 300 black industry professionals – from photographers to makeup artists, decorators and more – worldwide.

“In addition to being a resource for any brand committed to addressing historic racism and systemic inequality, the directory aims to help fashion organizations and businesses truly change the status quo, break patterns and establish new standards that empower, fund and reward black people in the industry,” Payé said.

It’s about moving beyond performative activism and slowed conversations around racial representation and inclusion to ensure the 2020 surge doesn’t become a thing of the past. And to make sure that there are fewer and fewer reasons why brands are responsible for the stagnation.

“Too often brands tell us they can’t find black talent or that their talent rolodex needs to be more inclusive, but they don’t know where to start,” said BIFC co-founders Lindsay Peoples Wagner and Sandrine Charles. said in a joint statement. “We are incredibly passionate about eradicating this problem and being a resource for businesses to utilize a more diverse roster of talent and we know that resources like this will have a significant impact on the industry.”

From now on, the directory will only be made available to companies that have signed up to the #ChangeFashion roadmap. This involves signing a memorandum of understanding with Color of Change, completing an intake form, obtaining tailored roadmap commitments, and agreeing to a work plan that Color of Change will help signed individuals work on – including monthly audits and an annual progress report. Then it’s about tapping into the resources of #ChangeFashion and aligning with like-minded community members to fight racism.

For participants, the directory will be available at

“#ChangeFashion was launched to support racial justice within the fashion industry, and as part of that support, we understand the importance of providing businesses and policy makers with the tools to take action for racial justice. The recent In the Blk showcase at NYFW was an example of how the #ChangeFashion inclusion pilot could be put into practice, and the directory is another important piece of the larger puzzle,” Romola Ratnam, vice- senior president of social impact at Endeavor (which owns IMG), told WWD, “Creating resources and tools — and making them publicly available — will drive the industry forward and diversify on-camera talent and people. behind the scenes who work to make campaign shoots, editorials and runways possible. When you eliminate the excuses of not knowing where to look, we are all better able to hold those in power accountable.

And the accountability doesn’t end when the scrutiny subsides.

“Combating racism is not just the trend of the season,” Paye said. “You have to be in it for the long haul, and creating tools like the Black in Fashion Council x #ChangeFashion Directory is a first step in advancing racial equity and providing access to the fashion industry.”

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