Thursday 4th June

| BY Paul Toner

Black Lives Matter: How Fashion Brands Are Offering Their Support

Yesterday, anti-racism protests took place in all 50 American states, and across 18 countries worldwide. The brutal murder of George Floyd has showcased on a global stage both the oppression of black voices and the inequalities POC face on a daily basis. Yes, the four officers responsible for Floyd’s murder have been charged. But our work is far from over. We need to map out more effective ways of combating racism moving forward, and not just in the imminent future, but for years to come.

Rightfully so, fashion brands near and far have come out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Juggernaut houses such as Dior, Prada, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Fendi; as well as sportswear giants Nike and Adidas, have taken to Instagram to display their intolerance to racial injustice. Samuel Ross, founder of London-based menswear label A-Cold-Wall*, has vowed to offer £25,000 worth of grants that will be split between 10 independent black businesses, alongside donating a further £10,000 to Black Lives Matter financial aid. Fellow London designer A Sai Ta (founder of ASAI) has also announced he will be donating all profits from his latest cropped edition of the Hot Wok dress – infamously worn by Rihanna – to Black Lives Matter and both Solace Women’s Aid and The Voice of Domestic Workers. Moving forward, the designer will donate a proportion of all future sales to BLM.

Elsewhere in London, Marques’ Almeida has announced 20 per cent of all sales from their website will be given to the BLM movement. Marta Jakubowski has also been selling made-to-order cut-out tops where all profits will also be donated to BLM. Menswear designer Kiko Kostadinov has sold three rare and unreleased trainers, where the amount each sold for being tripled by Asics, equalling to nearly $15,000 which was split between various funds including The Bail Project and Reclaim The Block. Similarly, Stefan Cooke sold three of their signature cut-out sweaters in an exclusive navy colourway for £500 each, with all profits going to the Black Visions Collective.

Other brands across the globe which have publicly donated include: Eckhaus Latta, Helmut Lang, Fenty, Savage x Fenty and Gucci. The latter has also halted all its operations across the US today “for employees to have a day of mourning, honour the lives lost, and recommit ourselves to being part of the solution,” wrote Gucci on Instagram.

If you’re a fashion fanatic, one effective way of showing your solidarity with the BLM movement and pushing for systematic change in regard to the racial injustice embedded within the fashion industry is to support black-owned brands. Here in Britain, we are lucky to have some of the world’s best designers who own their own businesses. Brands such as Wales Bonner, Bianca Saunders, Saul Nash, Martine Rose, A-Cold-Wall*, Nicholas Daley and Mowalola are just a handful of names who are design mavens; shaping British fashion on a global scale. It is vital we continue supporting these talents.

Top image: A-Cold-Wall* AW20 by Jason Lloyd-Evans. For petitions to sign, places to donate and resources to educate yourself, please follow the link here.