In a recent report, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), raised concerns regarding the obvious lack of diversity in the upper strata of the industry. The organization’s concerns were contained in a report titled “Insider/Outsider” which the association published in partnership with PVH Corp.
The report did not offer specific actions to resolve the issue.
CFDA is a not-for-profit trade association whose objective is to strengthen the influence of American Fashion Designers in the global economy. The diversity report lists how heads of companies have time and again excluded the commonly deprived groups, including racial minorities, women and the LGBTQ community.
CFDA is championing the cause of these so-called “outsiders” who have long been blocked from asserting their influence. The CFDA is straightforward in its approach. Steve Kolb, CFDA’s chief executive stated, “We have more of a formalized approach now in our commitment and in our public expression of that commitment. It’s our hope from this briefing that we can hold American fashion accountable to be inclusive and diverse,”
Needless to say, CFDA is determined to continue educating the industry about diversity as well as inclusion this year. They are planning to hold a year-long program to address diversity and inclusion. The organization engaged the services of Betham Hardison, a model, and advocate.
On the other hand, PVH Corp., the American clothing company that owns famous high-end brands such as Calvin Klien and Tommy Hilfiger, is helping the cause through their hiring policies. The company makes it a point to hire people within a certain group they feel is underrepresented.
CFDA is pragmatic knowing they can’t compel all companies to support them, but, if the industry is listening, it’s half the victory already. The next challenge is participation and which would complete CFDA’s principled intentions in so far as their industry is concerned.