Fashion 

250 Black Creatives Sign Petition Urging the CFDA to Revise Its Anti-Racism Efforts

Signatories include designer Martine Rose, ‘Vogue’ Fashion News Director Chioma Nnadi and more.

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Last week, around 250 Black fashion creatives signed a petition calling for the CFDA to revise its recent anti-racism efforts. According to Business of Fashionthe letter, dubbed The Kelly Initiative, was named after Patrick Kelly – “the Black designer who was the first American to be admitted to the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter in 1988.”

Put together by editor Jason Campbell, creative director Henrietta Gallina and writer Kibwe Chase-Marshall, the petition was signed by a number of familiar names in the industry including Edward Buchanan, Martine Rose and Victor Glemaud; fashion directors Gabriella Karefa-Johnson of Garage and Carlos Nazario of i-DCosmopolitan‘s beauty director Julee Wilson and Vogue‘s Fashion News Director Chioma Nnadi. However, BoF indicated that CFDA board members Virgil Abloh and Kerby Jean-Raymond, Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner, designer Aurora James and more were absent from the list of signatories.

The Kelly Initiative group stated that the CFDA has “allowed exploitative cultures of prejudice, tokenism, and employment discrimination to thrive, unbridled by the sort of watchdog intervention expected of an industry umbrella organization,” while the fashion industry has prioritized “optics over the authentic pursuit of equity.” Those who signed the petition are urging the CFDA to provide the “data on the racial makeup of employees at all levels” within the industry, provide manager bias-mitigation training and call for its members to create more career opportunities for Black professionals.

The CFDA has not released an official statement yet, so stay tuned while we wait for more details. In related news, Billy Porter, Issa Rae and more sign an open letter to the “White American Theater” about racism.

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