Around the world people are asking, what's going to happen with this pandemic? What does our future look like? Are we going back to “normal”?
In the States we are asking something completely different.
The pandemic has been eclipsed as our rights and our lives are being threatened and taking far too often. We, the people, want to be heard, want to be respected, and can not stand any more unjustified unlawful killings and murders by the hands of our public police force. We need justice, we desire to eradicate racism from this country; Is it too much to ask?
After the videotaped murder of American citizen George Floyd, 50 states have unified in active protest against racism, crying out for racial justice, they want respect, they want to feel accepted in a society that for centuries has been strict and controlled of peoples rights.
Tuesday, June the Second, millions posted a black square on their Instagram feed and stories expressing solidarity with those protesting the murder of George Floyd, but is a hashtag or a plain black image the only way can we support? Is Sharing a black square going to stop racism, police assassinations, and murders of 1st degree against black Americans?
For many, a black square was all that happened on the Instagram of several recognized high fashion brands, With many not posting the visual moment of solidarity in real-time or catching on late in an attempt to grasp the visual appearance of caring. But what was the key point, as there was no information about the real meaning, as a user, you could not do a follow up because everything is a black square, no information, no clue of what's going on, and what started as a visual moment of solidarity and listening for white brand owners, became an infiltrated attempt to Blackout the "Black Lives Matter" only balanced visual news media of what was still going on.
So the question for luxury brands that were affected by looters is, are you really supporting the cause, or are you overly distracted by store damaged, oftentimes NOT caused in conjunction with #BLM? How are you helping the black community inside your company? How many people of color do you employ or was it just a post to be in tune and follow trend with the population?
As a community we want to see actions, we want a follow up of the cause, we want actions that last to the DNA of the brand. A hashtag is not enough. Brands like Nike already started a campaign “For once don’t do it”, telling public force to stop their violent actions. But what about Chanel, Burberry, Dior, Hermes, besides your support post and your donation, what else are you planning to do?
We want to see at true diversity on your runways, not tokenism, not one or two blacks models and a white majority. How many black people are you employing, how many black interns are you providing opportunity to? What diversity and supports plans do you have or will implement?
Tapestry, umbrella company for Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman, for example, talk about equal opportunity, the company is formulating a long term plan for addressing systemic inequality, Tapestry is also one of the few under black leadership.
So brands please let us know your plans and how you support the black community from the inside!
“The most important thing that we can do is to be human. If you are not vulnerable now, whenever are you going to be vulnerable?”
Jide Zeitlin, Tapestry CEO.