We may have a reason to put on our pumps and lift our handbags for a boycott of the fashion industry. The question is can we do it? Do we have the strength not to buy the garments designed by the men and women who do not feature women of color on the runway or in the glossy ads?
A powerful feature in the New York Times, written by NYT editor Eric Wilson, explores the blatant whitewashing of fashion runways, ads and companies, ultimately begging the question: why doesn’t the industry recognize it has a race problem? Wilson makes a strong argument that despite efforts to combat the issue, the industry is still in denial and “nothing has changed.”
That sentiment is shared by Bethann Hardison, a former model and modeling agency owner and Kadim Hardison’s mother, as well as supermodel-turned-mogul Iman. These two ladies are leading the charge to inject some much needed diversity into fashion.
Hardison, who founded the advocacy group Black Girls Coalition in 1989, told the Times that part of the problem is that “no one in power slaps these designers around.”
Taking it a step further, Iman suggested that a boycott might be in order.
“It feels to me like the times need a real hard line drawn like in the 1960s, by saying if you don’t use Black models, then we boycott,” Iman said.
“If you engage the social media, trust me, it will hurt them in their pockets. If you take it out there, they will feel the uproar.”
Now that I’ve shared the information with you let’s keep our ears and eyes peeled for the beginning of the boycott, in the meantime shop in your closet.