On the heels of the naming of CaSandra Diggs as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the organization has revealed several strategic moves to expand the development of programming to create opportunities for Black talent in fashion.
“In June, we outlined specific initiatives with the goal of bringing an end to racial injustice in the fashion industry,” said Tom Ford, chairman of the CFDA. “The organization has put in place a structure to execute this strategy and we are firmly committed to creating systematic change in our industry that will empower the critical voices that need to be heard.”
To that end, the CFDA has established a separate Black advisory board responsible for all of its efforts on inclusivity, diversity and equality. The new structure is led by Diggs, who reports to Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the CFDA. The board will be chaired by executive board vice chairwoman Tracy Reese and members include Samira Nasr, editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar; Bozoma Saint John, chief marketing officer of Netflix; Stacie Henderson, cofounder of Fashion Technology Connects, and Martin Cooper, CFDA member.
In a newly created role, Bonnie Morrison will join the CFDA to lead the strategy and execution of its equity program initiatives with the goal of building opportunities for Black creatives and professionals in fashion. She will help support and execute initiatives including the new CFDA task force and talent placement program created for Black creatives and professionals in the industry. Most recently she founded the Morrison Strategy Partners consultancy. Earlier she held roles at Coach, Condé Nast, KCD and PR Consulting.
“We are bringing together an impressive group of esteemed industry colleagues to collectively help us build a framework for increased diversity, equity and inclusion in fashion,” said Diggs.
“These fundamental changes to the organization allow us to bring important perspectives to the fashion industry,” said Kolb. “They will play an instrumental role in our efforts to transform the fashion system and make it more diverse, inclusive and equitable.”
Since June, the CFDA has taken several steps to create systemic change in the fashion industry. The organization said it would create an in-house employment program charged with placing Black talent in all sectors of the industry and disclosed plans to create a mentorship and internship program focused on placing Black students and recent graduates within established firms in the fashion sector. In addition, the CFDA said it would implement and make available to its members a diversity and inclusion training program. The CFDA also made contributions to several charitable organizations aimed at equalizing the playing field for the Black community such as NAACP and Campaign Zero, among others.
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