Model and activist Munroe Bergdorf has criticized fashion companies for trying to align themselves with protests throughout the world against racism without ordering your own house in advance.

Speaking exclusively to the Guardian, Bergdorf said: “You cannot use marginalized movements to get capital or to improve your public image. White people need to see humanity in us – I don’t think the public has ever considered us as property [as slaves]. “

Fashion houses have struggled with their responses to George Floyd murder. Many have drawn online criticism for deaf-tone responses or signals of virtue toward allyship.

Jonathan Anderson of JW Anderson and Loewe apologized for posting (and then deleting) Instagram stories that read: “There is only one race.” He posted a photo of writer James Baldwin Besides apology.

Meanwhile Carine Roitfeld, founder of CR Fashion Book founder, posted a picture of her embracing Anok Yai’s black model with the words “miss you”, then adding the comment “Anok is not a black woman, she is my friend.” The deleted post was taken by industry supervisor Diet Prada, with comments accusing him of using tokenism. “Before George Floyd’s murder, you never posted black women before,” read one. Roitfeld later posted that he wanted to “Sincerely apologize” to post.

The Celine brand has been criticized for post a message that it “fights against all forms of discrimination, oppression and racism” while historically using only black model tokens (there are 10 black models out of 111 on its AW20 event).

In Prada Diet, model Adwoa Aboah commented: “Call it all. This is the way we have been treated for too long by many brands. ”

Virgil Abloh, Off-White designer, too apologize this week after looking more upset with looting shop from police brutality and racism.

“It shouldn’t:” It’s a shame a black man died, but why do people destroy property, “said Bergdorf.” It should be: “It’s a shame people destroyed property, but a black man died.”

Bergdorf added that if fashion wants to be progressive, it needs to overcome inequality in the industry.

Although the number of color models on the catwalk is increasing, representation in the fashion business very performative – empty and diversity on the catwalk, but not in a conference room – and sensitive racial moments are still regular occurrence.

Bergdorf: “We need more black people in decision-making roles.” Photo: Luke Nugent

“We need more black people in decision-making roles,” Bergdorf said. “Black people also need to be able to shoot, but the reality is we are not given the opportunity. I think people need to realize that different perspectives make better products.”

A few days later hired for her True Match beauty campaign in 2017, Bergdorf was fired by L’Oréal after writing a controversial Facebook posts about racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a protester was killed by a person white supremacy.

He is driven by the company on social media, with tweeting beauty giant: “Comments by Munroe Bergdorf contradict our values.” Bergdorf said that L’Oréal let him be exposed to “racism, hatred of women, and transfobia” from internet trolls, citing the horrific threat of explicit sexual violence.

Bergdorf accused the brand of hypocrisy this week followed his Instagram post after the death of George Floyd, who promised to support the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“I was hired by L’Oréal to cross my identity,” Bergdof said. “But when it comes to what I’m fighting for, it’s a dealbreaker. Instead of trying to understand systemic racism, they take the attitude: ‘Turn it off, it’s a public relations disaster.’ “(The Guardian has contacted the company to comment).

The brand did not respond to its Instagram posts, which surprised the model. “That doesn’t look good on their behalf,” he said. “I think it’s important to admit when you make a mistake. They prefer to bury their heads in the sand.

“My problem with L’Oréal is that they paint themselves as an ethical company, even though they are not. How can you stand with the black community but also sell skin whitening creams in Asia and Africa? “

Bergdorf also claimed that he was not paid the same as his True Match opponents, which included the Neelam Gill model. “I was paid £ 2,500 for the L’Oréal campaign, which is not like what others in the campaign paid.

“If brands want to recruit black people, they need to pay their value, and if the fashion industry wants to be progressive, they need to overcome inequality in the industry.”


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