The Council of Fashion Designers of America, or better know as the CFDA, has always been seen as one of the leading authority groups within the fashion industry. This is why CFDA's new initiative titled IMPACT will stand as a monumental move and with the hope that others will follow.
Inspired and called to action by the Black Lives Matter movement, the CFDA launches a new program in support of underrepresented and marginalised communities in the fashion industry. The new initiative will connect over 450 members with other Black and Brown creatives in order to connect the community with different opportunities and broad range of resources. The directory is facilitated by Creatively, a job platform that connects creatives with employment in the creative industry. The initiative will connect communities with full time and part time job opportunities, freelance work openings and highly sought after internships. IMPACT goes beyond to include industry training and programming along with community support and mentoring for Black and Brown members of the creative industry.
With its goal to strengthen the fashion design community in America and their impact on the global economy, the platform and initiative will be CFDA's ongoing work in continuing to build an industry that is inclusive, diverse and one that encourages equality and equal opportunity.
IMPACT was launched after the CFDA's review of the State of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Fashion Report which outlined racial equity and lack of representation within the industry. The report, carried out by McKinsey & Company surveyed 1000 professionals in 41 different companies, 20 stakeholders and three major focus groups to reveal that even though nearly 60 per cent surveyed felt most employers had taken steps towards workplace inclusivity, a massive four out of five still believed their race and colour reduced their opportunities and chanced for career and industry growth.
“This work is essential to the future of American fashion, which must be diverse, equitable, and inclusive,” stated CaSandra Diggs, president of the CFDA. “The CFDA is proud to take the lead in this important effort for the industry and beyond.”
All inclusive with a Black Advisory Board, the launch of IMPACT will be instrumental in creating a sustainable change against the social and economic marginalisation of underrepresented creative communities. With President CaSandra Diggs continuing to point out that perhaps the widening of talent pipelines and advancing career development for Black and Brown creatives may be the first focus of the initiative, IMPACT will indeed, be a space to watch.