MILAN — Gucci is the first luxury fashion brand to join Parks — Liberi e Uguali [Free and Equal in English], an Italian nonprofit organization aimed at supporting partner companies in the development of strategies and practices respecting diversity, with a focus on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“We are extremely proud to join Parks, and we could not identify a better moment to start the partnership with this inspiring organization,” said Gucci president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri. “In the past two years, we have implemented a complete turnaround of our company, following our mantra of being the voice of self-expression. Attracting, retaining and promoting talent, while celebrating ethnic, age, sexual and gender diversity, sexual orientation and gender identity across the company, is our mission, which is completely consistent with the vision of our parent company, Kering.”
Founded in 2010, Parks offers companies a range of customized activities, including education, training, communication services, as well as advice on pay policies and benefits, all aimed at guaranteeing inclusive and respectful working environments.
In September, Gucci’s parent company Kering was awarded the Gender Equality European & International Standard label by the Arborus Fund and Bureau Veritas.
In 2016, women accounted for nearly 31 percent of the French firm’s executive committee and 64 percent of its board. Kering bills itself as one of the most gender-equal companies in the CAC 40.
As Gucci anticipated last January with nine short videos of young men and women during a casting in London, the brand’s upcoming pre-fall 2017 advertising campaign is expected to celebrate diversity by featuring only people of color.
The tease already sparked a strong social media reaction, dividing the audience into supporters of the concept, who find it fun and inspiring, and into those who consider the choice of casting exclusively people of color not diverse enough.