Revolve, H&M, Lack of Diversity and MLK Day.
Not too sure how I want to explain this one... Within the past week and a half, Revolve has been called out for the lack of influencer diversity on their roster and H&M was obligated to make an apology after putting a young black boy in a controversial hoodie. And as these problematic scenarios begin to lose their steam in social headlines, Martin Luther King Jr. Day rolled around.
My opinion on each are pretty straight forward.
Revolve should have a more diverse influencer cast, but let's be real, they aren't the first and won't be the last to not include darker skin tones or different figure types in their advertisement. We "other," aren't their target market so why spend dollars promoting to us. With that said, representation is extremely important so the fight for inclusion needs to be happen but inclusion isn't the only option. There's always the BET and TVone route.
H&M messed up, completely. As large of a company as H&M is, that hoodie shouldn't have ended up on the black boy and sent out for global promotion. Being in the fashion industry, that image was seen by too many eyes, from styling at the shoot, to selecting the raw images, through editing and clipping, to printers...and that's not even the full list on the art side. Whether it was intentional or not, speaking from a business stand point alone, it shouldn't have happened. Buying is primarily an emotional experience and what you don't want is a marginalized group coming at you for any reason. Someone should have done their homework. The mom was fine with her son being in that hoodie so #Kanyeshrug. To each their own.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s holiday has passed and it was a little awkward for me. Granted, I'm an awkward person but eh.
On the day, everyone was posting their MLK quotes and graphics to commemorate him, his legacy and what he did for the Civil Rights movement. Because I was ill prepared, as usual, I tried to find a quote to use that would match my message so I could make a graphic and post it to my Instagram. Now, it could've been because I was doing it last minute, but as I struggled to find an on brand quote, I felt kind of gross...or out of place...or like a fraud...
I'm the quiet type. I don't ruffle any feathers and I mind my business. When controversial topics bombard my timeline, I unpack my thoughts to myself and keep it moving. My five lines above in this post is the most I've publicly said about anything. I've actually typed out long thoughts and explanations in support of the black narrative and have deleted them after proof reading. So when it came to looking up a Martin Luther Kind Jr. quote, it didn't feel like it was a genuine action. I knew I would be posting an MLK quote for MLK Day sake.
Even still, because I'm on my grind, it did get me to think about my business and the message I want to spread. Even more so about how loud I need to be about it.
When I figured out what I was doing with my illustrations, representation was very important to me. From skin tones to hair types to body shapes, I knew I wanted to focus on black women in fashionable spaces. Whether I design it or not, I want to be apart of the black representation in the fashion industry, beyond modeling on the runway. Representation should continue and grow there, but there are other avenues, like styling **cough cough H&M** that can benefit from having more diverse teams.
I don't know if I'll ever end up at a protest. I've thought about going to some in the past, but selfish and fraudulent thoughts have gotten in the way of those too. But as I write this, I'm coming to the thoughts that there isn't only one way to bring awareness to equality and civil rights for all. I mean, we're all so different and we each have our own talents that can help keep all of these issues in the forefront in order to make things better. That's pretty dope.