Every week, the fashion world burst with fresh news. This week in fashion news from around the world; 5 designers of African origin open Milan Fashion Week, in an interview with Mariah Carey, Cardi B speaks up about racism in the fashion industry, and more.
5 Africa Designers Open Milan Fashion Week 2021
Although virtual, the Milan Fashion Week started with a bang. Owing to a movement that highlights racism in the fashion industry, 5 African designers opened the show. All 5 designers operate under the Made in Italy brand.
The virtual show aims to support Black creators by giving a platform to designers with diverse backgrounds. Called “the Fab Five” all 5 designers were born in different parts of Africa and moved to Italy while still young.
The designers include Fabiola Manirakiza of Burundi; Claudia Gisele Ntsama of Cameroon; Mokodu Fall of Senegal; Joy Meribe of Nigeria; and Karim Daoudi of Morocco. Although with different styles, each of these designers has managed to craft a unique niche for themselves in the market.
Cardi B Opens Up About Racism In The Fashion Industry
In a talk with Mariah Carey for Interview magazine, popular WAP musician, Cardi B opened up about racism in the fashion and music industries. When asked if she believes the music and fashion industries are ‘inherently racist’ she shared her experiences.
“I don’t know if I would use the word ‘racism’ because everything is so technical right now. I have felt prejudice,” Cardi said. “I have been involved in endorsement deals, and then I found out that certain white people got more money for their deals from the same company. I do my research. I know how much money I made that company. My fans buy my shit. So it’s like, ‘When you’re not paying me what you’re paying these other people, why is that?’ It’s kind of insulting.”
The rapper went on to discuss how Black artists have the hardest time pulling outfits from designers and getting seats at their shows. She also highlighted how they “barely get endorsed by big fashion brands that we literally make trend.”
Carey agreed with her, noting how she also had faced similar experiences. “I’m just asking because I feel the same way. And I have it a different way because people don’t know how to categorise me sometimes, and that sucks,” she said. “But I think people should listen to the words you say because you’re saying it from firsthand experience. You’ve gotten less than other artists who are not artists of colour, and yet your influence has been way broader. So let’s fix that.”
Harper’s Bazaar Megan Thee Stallion Cover Photo Sparks Controversy
For Harper’s Bazaar’s March edition, American rapper Megan There Stallion stands as the cover star. The issue has two covers with the rapper in different outfits and poses.
In one image, she wears a sheer black cape from Chanel over black underwear with earrings from Bulgari. In the other, she wears a black top from Saint Laurent with a belt and choker featuring a big red flower. Her appearance in both photos has stirred a debate on social media about Black people being photographed incorrectly.
“A black photographer should’ve taken Megan’s pictures. Megan is gorgeous with or without makeup. However white photographers, almost never capture black beauty in the right light, ” one user says.
The photographer, Collier Schorr, later shared that Megan had collaborated with him through the process, “A most remarkable experience making pictures with Megan Thee Stallion…who discussed each picture and edited afterwards with me … total collaboration as it should be to make together new images of her at this moment in her life,” he allegedly wrote in a private Instagram post.
CFDA Launches New Initiative Inspired By The Black Lives Matter Movement
On Monday, the Council of Fashion Designers of America launched IMPACT. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, IMPACT aims to create opportunities for underrepresented communities.
Taking its name from the CFDA’s mission, “to strengthen the impact of American fashion designers in the global economy,” IMPACT will connect its 450-plus members with Black and Brown creatives through a talent directory facilitated by Creatively. The directory officially launches today and will feature full and part-time jobs, freelance opportunities, and internships.
“This work is essential to the future of American fashion, which must be diverse, equitable, and inclusive,” said CFDA President CaSandra Diggs. “We launch IMPACT with a specific focus on widening talent pipelines and advancing career development for Black and Brown creatives and professionals. In the future, we will further the initiative to also address other inequities within the fashion system.”
IMPACT will also provide open access, group mentoring, industry programming, and community building for Black and Brown industry professionals.
Parsons School of Design, WWD, And Yellowbrick Launch Online Fashion Program
In collaboration with WWD and New York-based education platform Yellowbrick, Parsons School of Design has launched a new fashion program. Fashion Business Essentials consists of 15 hours of instructor-led classes online.
The program offers a “deep exploration” into the innovation and changes in the fashion industry. Modules include ‘entrepreneurship and the fashion system’, ‘managing fashion production’, ‘fashion branding’, ‘marketing strategies’, and ‘retailing and distribution’.
“The fashion industry has endured many challenges over the past year, and we see its recovery as an opportunity to bring more diverse voices into the ranks,” said Ben Barry, incoming dean of fashion at Parsons in a press release. “In this program, we’re building opportunities for talent who hail from non-traditional backgrounds in the fashion industry, and we’re furthering our mission to change the fashion education experience for the better.”
Classes will be led by Parsons faculty and experts from various sectors across the industry. Successful students will earn a non-credit completion certificate from Parsons. The first group of students will be admitted later this month.