Weekly Words: April 15th 2017

Is Gucci’s Pre-Fall Ad Campaign a Step in the Right Direction for Diversity?” – The Fashion Law

I found this article very interesting because it made me stop and think about things. Initially when I heard that Gucci were only using models of color for their ad campaign I thought it was a good idea because in my mind I thought that meant they were recognizing the diverse array of people on the planet and how important representation is. However, I read this article and I also watched Instagram stories by Shiona Turini which gave me another perspective. Basically it boils down to the fact that we are applauding Gucci for using models of color when that it something that should just be standard. I had failed to pick up on this before. As mentioned in the article, fashion is cyclical and it just so happens that using models of color is a “trend” at the moment, just as the Eastern-European wave was huge ten years ago. Furthermore, as mentioned by Turini, the campaign took inspiration from people of color (music, photographers, styles) yet the campaign was photographed by a white male photographer. I have noticed how Gucci has become a staple brand once again in the (predominantly black) hip-hop community, worn by everyone from A$AP Rocky to 2 Chainz, yet the people who are actually dressed by the brand are normally white (Jared Leto, Harry Styles etc.).

I don’t want to knock the campaign as I think the images produced are actually rather striking and represent the first Gucci campaign since Michele took the helm that has been of interest to me. Click the link above for the full Fashion Law article, see below slideshow for Turini’s response and click here for Elle’s take on things.

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“Business of Fashion Student Membership”

Business of Fashion is arguably the greatest resource out there for anyone interested in fashion. They have amazing journalists, quality content, and even do a free daily digest where they pull together all of the news that you need to know from sources around the internet. I love it. Last year the site went into a private, paid-for “professional” mode where you only got limited access unless you paid for a subscription. I was upset when this happened as I love the site and have been reading it daily for years now but I did understand why it happened. For the past few months after hitting my article limit I’ve been using the incognito mode on my browser in an attempt to cheat the system and read unlimited content. This was not only annoying but also probably slightly unethical too. However, I was scrolling through Facebook this week when I spotted an ad from BoF proclaiming free student membership in partnership with Topshop. I rejoyced. I literally took pictures and posted it on my Instagram story and Snapchat. Finally I had access to the site again. It helps not only on a personal level but also when doing projects and essays in school. I love Topshop as a store. It is somewhere that I have worked before and would honestly love to work again. The fact that they have partnered up with BoF to bring this membership to students (for free!) shows that they are genuinely committed to helping the next generation come up and learn on the way. I appreciate this so much as a regular membership costs $20 a month (or $240 a year) which doesn’t seem like much to somebody in the workforce but as a student it is a steep price to pay.

Sign up here using your student email account.

“Designing an Immigration System that works” – CFDA

The CFDA published a 48 page report this week urging for immigration reform that would benefit the fashion industry. The message of the report was that the current system is broken and prohibitive, meaning that the US loses out on talent from all around the world in this particular industry. Nowadays with a focus on globalization and the harmful effects, you would think that America would want to do whatever possible to bring the fashion industry back to the US, even if that meant recruiting talent from around the world. The two main points that the report suggested need addressed are “the access and retention of top talent”, saying employers need to be able to hire the employees and have a visa in place that allows them to stay in the country, and “the difficulty and high cost of navigating [the] existing immigration system”, as it is a costly and complicated process. The following pages break down further, providing statistics and presenting a case for reform. For a professional report, it was refreshingly easy-to-read and not bogged down with boring statistics and legal jargon.

This issue is something that is important to me personally, being an international student in the US, as I may have to try to navigate this system myself at some point depending on where my career takes me. It doesn’t make sense to me that America would not want to retain the talent it has trained, especially if a student attends a US institution. It is almost like brain-drain, training people then allowing them to return home so quickly. I have often worried in the past about getting a work visa as I can’t understand why many employers would care to go through the process given the financial burden and the time spent. On top of that, you can follow all of the processes correctly and still not get a visa as the number of applicants greatly outnumbers the amount of visas available each year. It is a stressful process for all involved. Even if you don’t care to read the entire report I do encourage you to scroll through and look at the infographics as they’re really interesting.

Eve Gardiner is the founder and content creator behind evegardiner.com

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