The theme of this US Black History Month is access – so Depop and the Black in Fashion Council have teamed up to celebrate Black entrepreneurs by offering a new generation of creatives access to Black industry leaders.
Through a series of talks and conversations that kick off on February 16, they’re opening up the virtual classroom to look back and celebrate Black culture’s impact on fashion and to empower up-and-coming talent. The fashion industry is infamously opaque and difficult to break into, but the pandemic has shown us that virtual learning is one of the best ways to up-skill on your own and get your foot in the door. This program is an opportunity to learn tips and tricks from some of the best stylists, writers, designers, and consultants in the industry.
“In the world of classroom Zoom, this is absolutely on par to how we are currently digesting our education in various mediums,” says BIFC co-founder Sandrine Charles about the program. “It will be a fun way to tap into our board memberships and friends in the business — giving faces to the names working behind the scenes on change.”
The program offers “Business Talks” with designer Victor Glemaud and consultants Chrissy Rutherford and Janell Hickman-Kirby; an “In Conversation With …” series about the future of fashion between BIFC co-founder (and soon-to-be Cut editor-in-chief) Lindsay Peoples Wagner and the designer LaQuan Smith; and a discussion between costume designer and creative director June Ambrose and designer Anifa Mvuemba about iconic moments in fashion history led by Black creatives.
Wagner and Sandrine Charles, a public relations expert, founded the Black in Fashion Council (BIFC) in June 2020 as a way to advocate for and secure the advancement of Black people in fashion. The council helps to hold these companies accountable for making internal changes regarding diversity and inclusion.
BIFC and Depop’s virtual programming for Black History Month comes as the reselling platform looks for ways to give back to its black sellers and customers. As more Black creatives share their experiences of prejudice and mistreatment in the fashion industry, Depop has doubled down on its commitment to provide a more fulfilling, comforting, and inviting experience for the Black community on the platform and in the company.
“On the back of our commitments to equalize entry into the fashion world for our Black community of Depop, we wanted to centralize our efforts for Black History Month on creating space for both dialogue and action through the theme of access,” says Chinny Okolidoh, the global head of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Depop.
Head to Depop’s YouTube channel on December 16 to learn from industry leaders some of the most successful Black-owned businesses on the platform, including top sellers like @beingaugust, @enithingiwant, and @shauniescloset.