The CFDA’s Tom Ford and Steven Kolb issued a statement today where they outlined various ways they’ll be implementing a systemic changed in the industry to do more for black talent. They met with their board this week and will be creating an in-house employment program for black talent in all areas of the fashion business and implement a diversity and inclusion program for their members. The CFDA also implored the industry to have a more racially balanced workforce.
Here is the full statement:
The CFDA held a board meeting on Tuesday, June 2nd. Given the deplorable acts of racism and violence that we have seen play out in our country over this past week, our response as an organization was ﬁrst and foremost on our minds and in our hearts.
Black people in this country are reeling from years of injustice stemming from institutional constructs such as slavery, segregation, mass incarceration, police brutality and economic and voter suppression. The Black community is experiencing anger and frustration on top of the effects of the global pandemic that has hit communities of color the hardest.
Having a clear voice and speaking out against racial injustice, bigotry and hatred is the ﬁrst step, but this is not enough. This is a deeply disturbing moment that speaks to us all. Our world is in deep pain. Our industry is in pain and it is not enough to simply say that we stand in solidarity with those who are discriminated against. We must do something.
The CFDA outlines the below initiatives that will immediately be undertaken by the organization to create systemic change within our industry:
The CFDA will create an in-house employment program speciﬁcally charged with placing Black talent in all sectors of the fashion business to help achieve a racially balanced industry. This program will be tasked with identifying Black creatives and pairing these individuals with companies looking to hire.
The CFDA will also create a mentorship program and an internship program focused on placing Black students and recent graduates within established companies in the fashion sector.
The CFDA will implement and make available to our members a Diversity and Inclusion training program.
We will make immediate contributions and take up fundraising activities in support of charitable organizations aimed at equalizing the playing ﬁeld for the Black community such as, but not limited to the NAACP and Campaign Zero – amongst others.
We urge each and every member of the CFDA to take stock of their corporate structure to ensure that they have a racially balanced workforce and we challenge the retail sector of the fashion industry to ensure that their roster of brands and their product assortment is representative of the Black talent within the industry.
Tom Ford, Chairman, CFDA
Steven Kolb, President and CEO, CFDA