In late June of this year, Lindsay Peoples Wagner, Teen Vogue‘s editor in chief, and Sandrine Charles, an expert in public relations, founded the Black in Fashion Council (BIFC). They intend to “represent and secure the advancement of Black individuals in the fashion and beauty industry.” We last reported on them in late June, and, since then, the BIFC has taken action towards their goals of helping partner companies increase their internal diversity and inclusivity. In this past week, that action has been publishing a list of their first 38 participating companies.
These companies range from modeling and talent agencies like CAA and DNA Model Management to clothing brands like Athleta, Everlane, Tommy Hilfiger, and Universal Standard, from retailers like Farfetch and The Real Real to makeup companies like Glossier and L’Oreal. The full list can be found on the BIFC website.
Declaring a relationship to the BIFC means working with the Council for the next three year, as well as with the Human Rights Campaign, according to the BIFC’s statement last week. This work is meant to help the companies put policies into practice that actively show their commitment to Black employees at every level. “Executive board members will be having conversations with industry stakeholders starting in August 2020 to allow brands to fully understand the complex ways in which we all need to commit to making inclusivity the lens in which we see everything,” the statement reads. This timeframe is also important because it gives companies “the opportunity to rise to the occasion of making changes…we know this is a process that takes time. The BIFC will release generalized cumulative results in the fall of 2021, giving insight into the progress that the industry has seen.”
More companies are expected to sign on with the BIFC after the summer ends, and the Council is accepting membership applications in addition to company commitments. Becoming a member means paying $50 for an assistant role and $100 for a senior-level membership, having one’s application reviewed by a small committee, and, upon acceptance, having access to all of the BIFC’s programming and subcommittees. These memberships are key to advancing the Council’s mission. The organization says that “by organizing a resilient group of editors, models, stylists, media executives, assistants, freelance creatives, and industry stakeholders, we aim to build a new foundation for inclusivity.”
Image via the Black in Fashion Council