Black History Month has seen fashion and beauty retailers announce everything from anti-bias training for store associates to executive mentorship programmes and shop-in-shops dedicated to Black-owned brands.
The flurry of initiatives could be seen as a belated response to the pressure from campaigns that urged the industry to address systemic racism in the United States in the wake of George Floyd’s death last summer. But, more than eight months since those first protests, it remains to be seen whether the Black Lives Matter movement will permanently change fashion.
Though plenty of major brands and retailers have vowed to improve their record on diversity or support Black-owned brands, many of these efforts are still in the planning stages. Real change will come through well-funded, multi-year initiatives with dedicated leaders, said Brandice Daniel, founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row, an organisation that supports underrepresented designers.
“I think the real question will be