About 250 representatives of the fashion industry have published a petition stating that the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) does not use its power to help African Americans designers. The document is called The Kelly Initiative (“Kelly Initiative”) in honor of Patrick Kelly – the first American admitted to the Paris Fashion Syndicate (Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter). The petition was initiated by editor Jason Campbell, creative director Henrietta Gallina and writer Kibwe Chase-Marshall. The letter has already been signed up by designers Edward Buchanan, Martin Rose and Victor Glemo, fashion directors Gabriella Karefa-Johnson (Garage), Carlos Nazario (iD), Tiffany Reed (Bustle Digital Group) and Corey Stokes (Highsnobiety), as well as stylist Jason Bolden, Vogue fashion news director Chioma Nnadi.
All of them came up with specific requirements. So, they urge the CFDA to collect data on the racial composition of fashion companies, offer managers to take special trainings and oblige council members to create all conditions for hiring employees. Another requirement is to ensure that the CFDA annually publishes race data for members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. This will allow you to see progress in the fight against racism in the fashion industry.
In addition, the organizers of the initiative intend to create The Kelly List – an annual list of 50 African Americans representatives of the fashion industry who will be given access to contacts and help find a good job.
The creators of The Kelly Initiative want to discuss the fight against racism with the CFDA during a videoconference on June 19, the Day of Emancipation (Juneteenth).