True fashion has always been about expression and creativity, taking inspiration from all kinds of cultures, people, movements and places around the world. Although the fashion industry has had its long history of exclusivity, discriminatory and racial issues, there has recently been a huge effort for bringing inclusivity to the forefront. The focus has been on implementing mentorship programs specifically honouring marginalized groups, moving the industry into a proper culture climate of 2021.
Fashion as a means of inclusion and progression has been making a demand for diversity and social change to happen in revolutionary ways. While the fashion industry hasn’t always needed to be accountable, we see and recognize that it is trying to be and do better.
Mentorship programs have been a tactic adopted by many brilliant individuals, organizations and brands that recognize their ability to make real changes and open up the industry for more representation. It’s more than just an attempt to have good public relations and brand reputation in today’s social climate; this is also about actively seeking diverse talents and giving them a chance to use their voice and make their mark. The fashion industry has always been extremely competitive; it’s about who you know and how to utilize them to climb up the metaphorical ladder. This idea of mentorship aims to help change that relationship for smaller brands and creators.
The success of mentorship programs has been about building a culture of diversity that the industry has been lacking for a long time. It’s one thing to encourage the support of black-owned brands and creators, but to be a leader for this change of power and inclusion. Brands who show conscious social efforts and growth in their space can have a much greater impact, and that definitely shows today.
The Black Fashion & Beauty Gala (BFBG) is a Black community event that has a great mentorship program. Their goal is to pair mentees with brands they work with to teach, inspire and do something creative together in a way that introduces newcomers to the industry. Not only are they actively creating an initiative to build diversity in the fashion community through this mentorship initiative, but they are also setting up creators for a successful future and the ability to bring a fresh new perspective on representation.
It all starts with one conversation, one choice or one change to be better. Inclusivity is a theme and movement that is dominating the fashion world where marginalized creators are finally taking it by storm. Every action has an impact, so think about supporting brands that are doing their part in contributing to a better industry to be a part of this new era in fashion!