NEW YORK — On Thursday morning, the CFDA hosted a panel discussion on the topic of “Diversity in the Fashion Industry” at their offices on Bleecker Street. The talk, which was moderated by former model and activist Bethann Hardison, explored the idea of accountability in the fashion industry and the role that designers, casting agents, stylists and corporate ownership play in being racially inclusive on the runway and in advertising campaigns.
Hardison tapped Anita Bitton, Hans Dorsinville, Edward Enninful, Prabal Gurung, and Samira Nasr to join her in conversation in front of an audience that included a range of designers, casting agents, editors and models.
“The fashion industry has struggled a great deal with diversity,” said Hardison. “What we need everyone to think about is how we can start to not feel so shy about having a conversation about race. It seems to be something that people feel really nervous to talk about, like it’s something that is not happening around you. That we’re so cool that we don’t even have to talk about it…This is not the moment to be cool.”