The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) is rolling out a new platform that strives to identify and empower Black creatives and leaders in the fashion space.
Impact — a talent directory powered by the job platform Creatively — is a new program launched by the CFDA in an effort to nurture Black talent in fashion by offering them a place to display their work and submit their resumes in consideration for various job opportunities.
“This work is essential to the future of American fashion, which must be diverse, equitable, and inclusive,” said CaSandra Diggs, new President of the CFDA, in an announcement. “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.”
Creatively’s job platform that supports this new initiative was established last May by Stacey Bendet — founder and chief creative officer of Alice + Olivia.
According to WWD, the CFDA’s new program is an attempt at addressing the historically-corrupt system of exclusion for Black talent in the fashion industry by creating a blueprint for other industries to follow after.
“It’s an opportunity for brands to widen their talent pipeline, to really engage with underserved and underrepresented communities and really get to see the talent that does exist,” President Diggs told WWD.
In her eyes, Impact is a combination of both LinkedIn and Instagram in the ways that it promotes networking while showcasing what these talented creatives have to offer.
“We have the same goal. And the goal is to create advancement for black and brown and BIPOC professionals in the industry,” she added. “We’re all aligned; we’re just taking different approaches and that is what’s necessary.”
Overall, the intention behind Impact is to connect CFDA’s network of members, fashion-adjacent companies, institutions and nonprofit and university partners with a wide pool of industry professionals in the fashion industry, WWD reports.
By taking an individual, company, and industry approach to creating more representation and autonomy in fashion, the CFDA is redefining the future for Black talent in a way that allows them more visibility.
Impact will be reportedly open to everyone, and for CFDA members the platform will be free through 2022. The platform is set to officially go live this Friday.
For more information about Impact, click here.