It's apparent that in order to change the face and voice of fashion to reflect the real world, we will need new leaders. The disproportionate role that people of color play in the industry is myopic, foolish, and will hinder the longevity of this business for the future. The Millennial and Gen Z demographics are keenly aware of the multiracial society they live in, so we must not pretend that everyone can be persuaded into thinking this fantasy land is prestigious when all the images of exceptional talent are not presented.
Our new leaders must meet the demands for diversity, inclusion, vision, and equality. This is not a call to just one race, this is for everyone.
Today we take a position that our new leaders in fashion must make it a priority to protect, celebrate, and promote all creatives. People like Kerby Jean-Raymond, designer of Pyer Moss, who make statements that reflect his views of the world should be supported just as much at those behind Dolce & Gabbana. We cannot shy away from change or truth.
Models like Ebonee Davis, Slick Woods, Imaan Hammam and women like them should continue to be cast regularly like other models, not just when it is socially convenient. And fashion editors like Edward Enninful, Elaine Welteroth, and Tiffany Reid should continue to reconstruct the images, as well as tell the stories, of real people in the real world. Additionally, creative consultants like Mathew Henson should be empowered to design for the world around them. We want to see fashion that reflects all the interwoven layers that make up the fabric of our culture.
As a culture, we are moving from a world of fantasy in search of tangible reality. A reality where we can visit the lavish places, wear the designer clothes, and attend the parties, even if only through the pages of a centerfold. That centerfold is important to those who dream. If we cannot see ourselves in those places doing those things psychologically, we begin to internalize that it is not a place for us. This is a myth that must be dispelled because all places should reflect us. After all, we are the foundation, builders, innovators, and architects of this world and no one person can lay claim to all that we've created!