INCLUSIVITY, NOT JUST A TREND

By Mahnoor Fatima

The value of inclusivity is much more then a trend and there is tremendous amount of work to be done in order to address the issue. It is high time that Fashion Industry gets rid of stereotypes when it comes to models, designers or any stakeholders of the industry.

Recently, the ice has started melting as changes are appearing in various domains of Fashion World. The most noticeable change is in the marketing campaigns as many brands are featuring diverse models to represent their products. Most of the cosmetic brands including MAC, CoverFix are proudly embracing the concept of inclusivity. Another major change was black photographers shooting for Vogue for first time. Gucci is the most trending example of 2019 which depicts how corporate decisions are being affected as consumers are becoming more conscious about ethics and human rights.

A white model wearing a black turtleneck conceals the lower half of her face, with her mouth sneaking out through a fabric hole which displays a clear juxtaposition to black lips. The Italian Fashion House received immense criticism globally after launching the pull-over and had to discontinue it immediately from it`s online and physical stores. The brand had to implement major strategic changes in order to counter for all the negative vibe which was created. A black diversity chief was hired to look over its diversity and inclusion efforts after the disastrous publicity it received for selling a racist sweater.  Gucci also introduced a fellowship program with the aim of recruiting more divers employees from various ethnicities and hire more directors for inclusion programs.

The whole scenario and the public reaction clearly indicate how the space for racism has started narrowing down in Fashion World. Today, its not only about acceptance but thorough inclusivity and equal opportunity regardless of ethnicity, color, body type or gender.

Brands like Tory Burch, and Marc Jacob expressed their support for Hillary Clinton, by launching T-shirts for her campaign inscribed with phrases like “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights.” Another predominant example would be the runway of New York Fashion Week where models were sent in outfits covered with words like “immigrant” and “human” as a reaction to Trump`s threat of banning the entry of Muslims.

Fashion Industry has started seeing implications of inclusivity on many levels but still it’s a long way to go. The Fashion Icons, Brands and anyone who is part of this industry  need to practice the concept of inclusivity rater then just preaching.