Prada has launched a diversity council co-chaired by writer, director, and producer Ava DuVernay and artist and activist Theaster Gates. The Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council that aims to “elevate voices of colour within the company and the fashion industry at large”.
The initiative will also partner with universities and other institutions to spearhead and sponsor internships, apprenticeships and training schemes that “close the inclusion gap in the fashion industry”.
“Prada is committed to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent to contribute to all departments of the company,” said Miuccia Prada in a statement. “In addition to amplifying voices of colour within the industry we will help ensure that the fashion world is reflective of the world in which we live, and we are thrilled to be working with long-time collaborators, Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates, on this important initiative. We look forward to working with the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council to help us grow not only as a company but also as individuals.”
The Italian fashion house was forced to pull products in December 2018 after blackface comparisons. The brand’s catwalks have also been criticised for their lack of diversity.
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Last week, Gucci announced a similar scheme, including an internship programme to broaden company diversity. The label yesterday addressed accusations that one of its jumpers referenced racist blackface imagery. Alessandro Michele said racism was never his intention.
“I am aware that sometimes our actions can end up with causing unintentional effects,” he said in a letter published by Fashionista. “It is therefore necessary taking full accountability for these effects. For this reason our company immediately apologized and withdraw the garment that produced such controversies.”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.