Following the tragic death of George Floyd, a black-American man, on May 25, demonstrations in the United States multiplied and divided the country. The demand for social justice and racial equity is echoed internationally and the #BlackLivesMatter are under the spotlights.
Luxury brands have been taken to the heart of the debate. Just like the cultural sector, the fashion and luxury goods sector enjoys a societal and economic weight that makes it a key relay for defending equity and being an actor in it.
The fashion and luxury goods industry under the spotlight
“The fashion industry needs to do more! You use me to promote your products. Your silence is not acceptable. I want to see your support” tweeted supermodel Duckie Thot on June 1st. The young Australian model from Southern Sudan, recognized as one of the most in-demand models in the fashion industry is urging his various actors not to remain passive.
The anger of some demonstrators towards the fashion and luxury industry was also illustrated by the numerous lootings of luxury shops, particularly on Rodeo Drive, where many Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Hermès points of sale were ransacked and tagged with the slogans “Eat the rich” and “Make America pay for its crimes against black lives”.
While many luxury brands have intervened on social networks to spread anti-racist messages, the general public has often received these messages, sometimes late and awkwardly lukewarm.
“The silence within the fashion industry is deafening. When monuments such as Notre Dame burn, they immediately gather together and put their money where their mouth is. For black lives? Instagram posts. EVERY BLACK PERSON IN THE INDUSTRY IS PHENOMENAL. WE’RE EXCELLENT. WE’RE TALENTED. why? because the daily hardships we’ve faced just to be at this so-called “table” you can’t even imagine. As a black person in the fashion industry, I can tell you that there’s no room for mediocrity in my art space. … “So, the fashion industry, what are you REALLY doing for black designers?” insisted the talented and sought-after photographer Campbell Ady.
Brands committed to the fight against racism
However, other actors have been able to take the measure of the situation and react. Kering announced two donations, without specifying the amount. The first to the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), which fights racial discrimination in the United States, and the second to Campaign Zero, which aims to put an end to police violence in the United States. François-Henri Pinault, who heads the group, said it was necessary to put in place “concrete actions because words are not enough”.
Other brands such as Fenty Beauty, Savage x Fenty and the ready-to-wear label Fenty, worn by Rihanna closed their doors on Tuesday as a sign of solidarity for this “Blackout Tuesday”.
The fashion and luxury sector is also a political spokesperson, as demonstrated by the intervention of the editor-in-chief of American Vogue Anna Wintour who published an op-ed piece in the monthly’s columns.
“Joe Biden needs to do more, take on his role as president in waiting, raise his voice and become the national leader we desperately need, she said in her article. He needs to surround himself with the best and brightest minds, representing all of America. That means he should choose a woman of color as his vice president, and he should do it quickly.”
Featured photo : Anna Wintour © Wikipédia
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