Luxury fashion brands have finally figured it out! In order to make the cut, they cannot just rely on the ingenuity of their designs or their immaculate craftsmanship. More efforts are now needed from most luxury brands to safeguard their global positioning amongst other brands as well as amongst their own clientelle. Gucci is no different, and they have decided to make major changes. Gucci have just announced the launch of Gucci Changemakers; a new global program and scholarship fund.
Gucci Changemakers program aims at promoting diversity and inclusion throughout the company in specific and the fashion industry as a whole. This program will be gradually implemented following a multi-step plan. Some believe that this program was established after the brand received severe criticism last month over a balaclava sweater that resembles blackface.
The three-tiered program includes the Gucci Changemakers Fund which is a $5 million scholarship fund that will set up community-based programs to help people of color across the US. Harlem couturier Dapper Dan met with Gucci’s CEO Marco Bizzari and together they were able to announce that Gucci will “invest important resources to unify and strengthen our communities across North America, with a focus on programs that will impact youth and the African-American community”. Bazzari also explained that the scholarship fund will “create more opportunities for talented young people of diverse backgrounds to gain access to careers in the fashion industry.”
Through our work together, Gucci is in a position to lead the overall industry toward becoming a better more inclusive one.” Dapper Dan said.
The second part of the program is another scholarship fund targeting aspiring students wishing to pursue careers in fashion. While the third part is a volunteer initiative that will allow Gucci’s employees worldwide to take four days paid leave to participate in volunteer work that addresses pressing issues such as equality, education, environment, and supporting the refugees and homeless. Gucci’s North American Changemakers Council includes an impressive list of activists, designers, entertainers, and various professionals such as Cleo Wade (poet and activist), Yaseen Eldik (lawyer and writer), and Will.i.am (entertainer and philanthropist).