, , ,

Fashion & Beauty Companies Are Being Called Out By Black Employees

10:45 PM

Everywhere and Nowhere What it’s really like to be black and work in fashion. by  Lindsay Peoples Wagner

Let's rewind back to August 23, 2018, a popular article had the following quotes...

"The context of the conversation should be one of social reform where black people get to experience true liberation in the exact way the white American gets to experience their freedom. Our time is now.”
—Ethan Miller, agent, IMG Models NY
 "So, while the industry here has made great progress on the runway with models, behind the scenes is still incredibly homogeneous. " —Kenya Hunt, deputy editor, Elle U.K.

"If we don’t consider how the fashion industry is embracing, showing or including various people, then we risk allowing whole groups to be, if not devalued, then ignored.”
—Robin Givhan, fashion critic, Washington Post

"It’s a special kind of privilege when you serve women that look like me yet can’t tell me about my beauty. To me that means you shouldn’t have a job.”
—Julee Wilson, fashion and beauty director, Essence

“Why is it that mediocrity is so acceptable for white women, but black women don’t get a pass? We have to bust our asses." —Anonymous

These quotes are from the Cut Blog article, Everywhere and Nowhere What it’s really like to be black and work in fashion written by Lindsay Peoples Wagner.  These are shared stories by black people who work in the fashion industry talking about their experience and it's not positive at all. The reason I'm reflecting back to this article was because many people especially white people were shock at this stories, some probably thought we were lying or being too "angry". Now with the aftermath of the protests in Minneapolis which led to the #BlackOutTuesday post initiative that major companies and brands participated in from all industries. This shined the light on the treatment of black employees in these companies and also shined the light on the lack of black employees in these companies.

In mere days Editor In Chiefs, CEOs and many high ranking officials have resigned from their post because of the stories from former black employees their treatment in the workplace, the racist remarks, microaggressions, the pay disparities and lack of upward mobility. 

For these companies to have an IG post about their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter is all performative and they were called out rightfully. You can't write that you stand with Black people when you treat the one or two black employees you have like trash. Twitter and the IG comment section has been a venting ground for people to air their grievances.  

It's been revealed that Bon Appétit's former EIC Adam Rapoport told his African-American Editorial Assistant that she wasn't cut out for this industry because she asked for raise.  To be clear, his former assistant haven't had a raise in two years and she told him she needed a raise because she was three months behind on her rent. This particular story broke my heart and this came on the heels when Bon Appétit's parent company Conde Nast donated 1 million dollars to racial-justice organizations. You can read more about that story on Business Insider.

Anna Wintour Front Row at Fashion Week

One huge moment that happened was when Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of US Vogue, confirmed that she has failed her 1 or 2  Black employees and she has never set a priority in all of her years for BIPOC representation on the cover of the magazines and in the Vogue offices. 
Here was her statement, 
“I want to start by acknowledging your feelings and expressing my empathy towards what so many of you are going through: sadness, hurt, and anger too. I want to say this especially to the Black members of our team — I can only imagine what these days have been like. But I also know that the hurt, and violence, and injustice we’re seeing and talking about have been around for a long time. Recognizing it and doing something about it is overdue.
I want to say plainly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators. We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes. It can’t be easy to be a Black employee at Vogue, and there are too few of you. I know that it is not enough to say we will do better, but we will — and please know that I value your voices and responses as we move forward. I am listening and would like to hear your feedback and your advice if you would like to share either. I am proud of the content we have published on our site over these past few days but I also know that there is much more work to do. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me directly. I am arranging ways we can discuss these issues together candidly, but in the meantime, I welcome your thoughts or reactions.”

I'm not going to lie, I rolled my eyes heavy when I read this statement. The stories I've heard from people I know personally, is that the Vogue culture has always been toxic. It's no surprise, however this might be a surprise for other people understandably. 

Below are articles on the latest resignations, criticisms and stories from brands and magazines.

The time is now for our voice to be amplified and I hope this create long lasting change.

You Might Also Like



Get an email of every new post! We'll never share your address.


Blog Archive