The huge uproar that has been ridding industries all over of racist, sexist and discriminatory policies has made it’s way to the fashion industry as well.
In the wake of the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, consumers and industry folk have been calling on fashion and beauty brands, publications, and major companies to make necessary changes to their policies and diversify their leadership staff to provide more opportunities to minorities.
Chrissy Rutherford and Danielle Prescod — two seasoned fashion industry veterans — have joined forces to found 2 Black Girls, a consulting agency that aims to help school brands on diversity and inclusion, Harper’s Bazaar reports.
— Chrissy Rutherford (@chrissyford) July 27, 2020
Rutherford — a current contributing editor at BAZAAR.com and former special projects director at the site — and Prescod — style director at BET.com — both have healthy resumes and sizable fan bases that support their decision to launch this new business.
Both expressed their struggles and frustrations being a part of an industry that boxes them in and posted videos in May calling out the fashion industry for ignoring the social issues of the world, BAZAAR reports. According to the CFDA, Rutherford’s viral video grew to over 5 million views while Prescod’s video garnered over 2.5 million views.
“People wanted us to weigh in to help educate them, and tell them what to do. I was like, we’ve been doing that for free. Now you’re going to pay us,” Prescod said, after sharing their videos online.
The idea for 2 Black Girls was then formed and developed into a full-fledged business, to offer brands and companies crisis-management and equitable solutions.
In regards to the industry’s delayed response, Prescod shared her sentiments about brands and leaders in the fashion world who wish to present themselves as allies.
“I think it will all be revealed who is able to sustain their allyship and who isn’t,” Prescod told BAZAAR. “It’s already happening for a lot of brands. And so it’s really not enough for them to be very lazy about it.”
Now in addition to calling brands out, Prescod and Rutherford are looking for brands to go against the grain and do the work needed to change the narrative for Black people, people of color, women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and others in the industry.
“The fashion industry has repeatedly fumbled this very important responsibility and this power,” said Rutherford to CFDA. “Cultural appropriation has been a huge conversation in the industry for a while now for this reason. You exclude Black women from this narrative but you are constantly co-opting this narrative from Black women, but it’s not cool until it’s on a white person. When you are aware of this stuff and you see it happening over and over again, it just feels really sh*tty.”
Prescod and Rutherford are hopeful that their business will make way for mandatory change and more accountability in the fashion industry and beyond.