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Fashion companies take sides against racism

Fashion companies take sides against racism

Protests against racism continue in response to the latest tragic acts of violence by the US police against African Americans. George Floyd’s death, on May 25 2020, is shaking the American system causing a wave of anti-racist protests whose echo is urging many other countries to take a stand.

American fashion companies are lining up in favor of anti-racist struggles, with messages and signs of protest that hopefully can get to the center of the problem and advance immediate and definitive solutions.

This is the case of Amazon, Nordstrom, Marc Jacobs, Adidas, Nike and many other influencers and creatives from the world of fashion, united under the statement of the Black Lives Matter.

Among the messages of these fashion players, there is the one of Pete Nordstrom, Chief Brand Officer of the brand and CEO Erik Nordstrom: “The unnecessary and unjust killing of anyone must not be accepted. The issue of race and the experiences of too many people of color cannot be ignored. We owe it to our employees, our customers, and our communities to be very clear in condemning these acts of violence. They represent a disregard for basic human rights that has no place in our communities or country, and certainly not at Nordstrom.”

Nike changed its historic slogan “Just Do It”, to “For Once, Don’t Do It”, in a video published on the brand’s social channels, which reads: “Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America,” the statement read. “Don’t turn your back on racism. Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us. Don’t make any more excuses. Don’t think this doesn’t affect you. Don’t sit back and be silent. Don’t think you can’t be part of the change. Let’s all be part of the change.”

Instead, the statement by Virgil Abloh raised some criticism, after having deleted the video posted on his Instagram account portraying the acts of vandalism carried out in a shop of Round Two, the streetwear reseller founded by Sean Wotherspoon. He then said that streetwear died because of acts like these. These statements have sparked some controversy, making people argue that Abloh is more concerned about fashion products than about lost lives. Abloh responded to these claims by posting a screenshot of the donation to a Miami bail fund for $ 50. 

A gesture that continues to be discussed. Many have noticed that the price of an Abloh T-shirt does not even reach that sum. The creative director of Louis Vuitton and Off White has later reformulated his statements on an Instagram post, in which he explains that the sum of 50$ is only a small part of the 20.500$ donation he has made in favor of other bail funds and that he won’t stop here.

Tory Burch also joined the chorus of messages of solidarity and position; Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond; Marc Jacobs; Jhoan Sebastian Gray; jewelry brand Catbird; Zac Posen; Ty Hunter; Diane von Furstenberg; Norma Kamali; and Alexander Wang. Ganni, Biossance, Lululemon donated $100,000 to various organizations, Anastasia Beverly Hills donated $1m, H&M $500,000.

Meanwhile, both Adidas and Nike, Nordstrom, Walmart and Target have temporarily closed their stores to continue the protest.

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