Supermodel, influencer and Beyoncé muse Joan Smalls has teamed with industry and activism heavyweights to bring sweeping inclusion to fashion. Smalls, racial justice group Color of Change, agency IMG and the Black in Fashion Council are joining forces for the initiative #ChangeFashion.
The movement has built a road map to bring diversity and inclusion to every facet of the industry, from model casting to marketing heads, event staging to retail spaces.
“Fighting racism can’t just be the trend of the season,” Color of Change president Rashad Robinson tells Variety. “And there are two fronts to the fight: ending the long-standing discrimination and mistreatment of Black creators and other professionals working across the industry and ending the long-standing pattern of misrepresenting Black bodies and diminishing Black lives.”
Not unlike Ava DuVernay’s recently launched diverse below-the-line database Array Crew, #ChangeFashion seeks to increase diversity on photo-shoot and runway productions by mandating diverse suppliers and chains, creating equitable workplaces across the board, and reexamining relationships with police and security in those spaces.
Smalls backs the initiative through her organization DonateMyWage — anchored by 50% of her earnings and aimed at raising funds for Color of Change and myriad groups including BLD PWR, Black Women’s Blueprint, the Innocent Project, and the United Negro College Fund.
Smalls says, “The initiative is us using our voices, resources, and connections to inspire and provoke widespread change within all aspects of our industry — a move that has been made in the film and music industries as well. Inclusivity isn’t fashionable — it’s necessary.”