After a series of race-sensitive missteps over the last few months in the fashion world, a special division dedicated to ensuring responsible communication and an all-inclusive profile is not just a step in the right direction, but rather an essential one. And as one of the world’s leading and most respected brands, Chanel has taken this important step forward by instituting a Head of Diversity & Inclusion for the first time in the company’s history.
Fiona Pargeter, who has been hired to fulfil this profile, comes with an impressive pedigree, having previously held a similar position at Swiss bank UBS for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As expected, Pargeter’s role here will be to improve diversity efforts and foster a comprehensive multi-cultural environment at Chanel. Until now, this responsibility had been taken care of by the French label’s People & Organisation department. Several fashion entities have recently amped up their company’s strategies to establish and expand their inclusivity platforms as well. This includes Gucci who, in March, announced their aims to implement a racial diversity initiative to be headed by Dapper Dan, the acclaimed Harlem-based American fashion designer.
It remains to be seen how some of the other fashion houses, such as Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Off-White™, who have been at the receiving end of severe criticism for some of their actions and products that were deemed racially insensitive, plan to handle these issues.