24 Feb Black, Brown, and BIPOC fashion talent, say hello to IMPACT a job board by the CFDA.
The Texas Fashion Industry Initiative and its members joined the CFDA yesterday in an online conversation to discuss how race intersects fashion and to learn more about IMPACT, a CFDA program designed to connect Black, Brown, and BIPOC (black, Indigenous, and people of color) creatives and professionals to job opportunities in the fashion industry.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement to create sustainable change against the social and economic marginalization of Black people, IMPACT addresses the decades-long system of exclusion of Black, Brown, and BIPOC talent in the industry with the hopes of creating a blueprint for other industries to follow.
IMPACT is powered by Creatively, the much-publicized new job platform specifically made to highlight creatives, co-founded by alice+olivia CEO Stacey Bendet. At its core, this initiative is one of the ways the Council of Fashion Designers of America is answering a call to action in the hopes of identifying, connecting, supporting, and nurturing Black, Brown, and BIPOC creatives in fashion. We asked the CFDA to give us even more clarity on IMPACT and what exactly is it going to be. “It’s a talent directory,” said Elliot Carlyle, Creative Consultant to the CFDA and Director of Cultural Diversity & Inclusion for NYC Jewelry Week. “…kind of like if Linkedin and Instagram had a baby.” he endearingly explained to us.
Elliot Carlyle, Photo courtesy of CFDA
IMPACT, launching this Friday, February 26, will prove to be a job board, with the likes of Tom Ford, Tory Burch, Rag & Bone, SKIMS, Gap, and Saks OFF 5th, among others, already planning to utilize this platform to discover Black, Brown & BIOPIC talent for hire. As an extension of CFDA’s current work building and maintaining multi-stakeholder social impact programs, CFDA IMPACT will connect its 450-plus members, fashion adjacent companies, fashion institutions and nonprofit and university partners, and a network of industry professionals across disciplines and levels to full/part-time jobs, freelance opportunities, and paid internships through this platform.
“A creative doesn’t have to be a CFDA member to be part of the CFDA IMPACT platform. You just join via Creatively and there is no fee for talent to join Creatively. There is a fee for companies/brands who would like to join in support of the program and also commit to hires, paid internships/apprenticeships with a portion of the proceeds go toward the CFDA IMPACT program, but there is no fee for creatives.” Carlyle explains.
Creatively Platform at Creatively.Life
CFDA is taking an individual, company, and industry approach to building greater representation and autonomy. From the recent CFDA and PVH State of Diversity Equity & Inclusion in Fashion study and report, Black employees at the individual level report feeling less prepared for their first job search. Through a range of initiatives including open access, group mentoring, industry programming, and community building, IMPACT will support and nurture Black, Brown, and BIPOC creatives and professionals. CFDA will build a coalition of members and fashion adjacent companies that are equally committed to providing economic and social opportunities to Black, Brown, and BIPOC creatives and professionals.
Photo courtesy of CFDA
At the heart of its driving momentum, is most definitely IMPACT’s Black Advisory Board, who has been instrumental in providing support in bolstering CFDA’s commitment to addressing the lack of racial diversity of the industry. In yesterday’s virtual meeting, Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Samira Nasr, Netflix chief marketing officer Bozoma Saint John, Fashion Technology Connects cofounder Stacie Henderson and CFDA member Martin Cooper joined in on the conversation and spoke on their personal journeys in the industry as well as what types of mentalities must be broken down in order to make this initiative a success and sustainable.
Samira Nasr, Harper’s Bazaar Editor-in-Chief, Photo courtesy of CFDA
Bozoma Saint John, Netflix Chief Marketing Officer, Photo courtesy of CFDA
“This cannot be a trend. This is not about posting a black square and then having society think, ‘ok, we’re done, we did our part.’ This needs to be a genuine ongoing change.” said CaSandra Diggs, President of the CFDA.
CaSandra Diggs, President of the CFDA, Photo courtesy of CFDA
CFDA CEO Steven Kolb was also at hand offering an even broader scope of conversation as a white male in the midst of change and wanting to be a true ally for the cause. He noted that “there is a certain level of discomfort” that comes with these topics, and explained understanding the sincerity in wanting to say and do the right things when approached with these matters. He went on to say that those who truly are in this for the long haul are currently experiencing an urgency to be as appropriate and genuine in speech, mannerisms, and allyship for the cause and that IMPACT will be filled with these true allies seeking ways to open up opportunity. It was moments like these that made for a true sense of momentum and makes IMPACT something that Black, Brown, or BIOPIC creatives should definitely have on their radar.
Steven Kolb, CFDA CEO, Photo courtesy of CFDA
Martin Cooper, CFDA member, Photo courtesy of CFDA
Stacie Henderson, Fashion Technology Connects
Photo courtesy of CFDA
“This work is essential to the future of American fashion, which must be diverse, equitable, and inclusive,” said Diggs. “The CFDA is proud to take the lead in this important effort for the industry and beyond. 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. I would like to thank Creatively for its collaboration on the talent directory, as well as CFDA’s Black Advisory Board for the guidance on this critical work.”
IMPACT launches Friday, February 26th, with a sign-up waitlist and survey already available at creatively.life upon profile creation. Style Lush TV will follow-up with even more information upon this launch.
Featured Image by Khaled Ghareeb
STYLE LUSH TV SERVES AS THE GLOBAL AWARENESS DEPARTMENT OF THE TEXAS FASHION INDUSTRY INITIATIVE, A 501C3 CHARITY ADVOCATING FOR THE TEXAS FASHION INDUSTRY. AS THE GLOBAL AWARENESS DEPARTMENT, IT IS AN EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT THAT SERVES ASPIRING FASHION MEDIA TALENT THROUGH FREE EDUCATION, CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS, AND OTHER TYPES OF TRAINING TO PRODUCE PUBLISHED WORKS THAT HELP ELEVATE CAREERS.