Since being under fire for its balaclava sweater that resembled blackface, luxury brand Gucci is attempting to redeem itself. According to harpersbazaar.com, the Italian fashion house has announced a new global program and scholarship fund called Gucci Changemakers that will promote diversity and inclusion throughout the company with a multi-step action plan.
The program includes three tiers: the Gucci Changemakers Fund, a scholarship program, and a company-wide volunteering initiative. All three programs intend to foster racial diversity within the company as well as the fashion industry as a whole. Legendary designer Dapper Dan, who launched a street style-themed collection for Gucci last year, has been working with Gucci to develop Changemakers. Dan took to Instagram yesterday to publicize these steps towards progress:
Time will tell if these actions will be enough to redeem the brand and establish true inclusion and equity, but with DeRay McKesson, will.i.am, writer/activist Brittany Packnett as part of the Changemakers Council as well, Gucci is at least setting itself up to be held accountable.
According to MTV Act, Beyoncé is donating $125,000 to Embrace Innovations, an organization that gives out little “sleeping bags” to keep alive underweight infants whose parents can’t afford (or don’t have access to) an incubator.
They aren’t actually sleeping bags, but they look like them, and they are lifesaving and easy to use. Thanks to Beyoncé, there will be pilot testing with these inventions in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda, and Beyoncé could be saving at least two thousand infants via her contribution. The baby warmers have already been used in some areas of the world, but this will ensure more parents are able to get them.
Beyoncé announced her donation while at Gucci’s Chime for Change anniversary party. Since Chime for Change is dedicated to helping women, it was great timing. Jane Chen, the TED Fellow and TED speaker behind the baby warmers, was thrilled by the support.
“She [Beyoncé] told me how incredible she thought the innovation was,” Jane said. “I think what struck me was how sweet and genuine she was—and just so excited about our work. One of my most memorable moments was getting to dance with her after we spoke.” Beyoncé’s publicist, who had given birth to a premature baby, also fully understood the importance of this invention.
article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)