Following suit with the likes of Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, fashion house Chanel has added a Diversity Chief to its team.
Chanel makes a commitment to diversity with its latest hiring
For 2019, the most in-vogue move for fashion brands is to adopt a wider conscience – be that becoming more environmentally sustainable, advocating for animal rights or making an effort to be more inclusive when it comes to body types. Which is exactly why more and more fashion houses are hiring people whose job role is to ensure these changes are rolled out smoothly while spotting other improvements that need to be made.
Most recently, French fashion powerhouse Chanel hired its very first Chief Diversity Office, Fiona Pargeter. Moving over from her similar role at Swiss bank UBS, she will be taking on the duty to support the brand’s effort to create a more diverse and inclusive working environment and image.
Other companies such as Burberry are also in the process of recruiting for a similar position.
The addition comes after high fashion has been repeatedly criticised for so-called insensitive and appropriative campaigns, comments and collections. More and more brands, both within and outside of fashion, are taking extra steps and care to ensure they avoid causing such offence again – and avoid the backlash that comes with it.
While there’s still work to be done, changes are already happening within the industry. For example, the Spring/Summer 2019 runways across New York, London, Milan and Paris proved the most racially diverse yet – analysis from The Fashion Spot demonstrated that 36.1 per cent of all casting went to women of colour this year, a 19.1 per cent increase from four years previous.
While body size diversity on the runway has catching up to do, brands such as D&G recently extended its sizing range. The likes of Tory Burch, Christian Siriano and local designer Dima Ayad already create a curvier selection, too.
The move plays into a wider change in direction that high fashion is steering itself in. Brands such as Prada and Versace have pledged to go fur-free while names such as Burberry and Ralph Lauren are becoming more aware of sourcing and using materials in a more sustainable manner.