Gucci has handpicked a student from ESMOD Dubai for it’s new fellowship programme. Following a racial scandal that involved a black knitted turtleneck balaclava with red cut-out lips in early 2019, Gucci vowed to change its creative and business practices by championing diversity.
The Italian fashion house hired Renée Tirado, their first diversity and inclusion officer who was also the former head of diversity for Major League Baseball.
This month, the company’s scholarship program was officially launched at the University of Lagos in Nigeria, the Design Fashion Academy in Cape Town, the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Delhi, ESMOD Seoul, and of course, ESMOD Dubai.
Gucci’s artistic director Alessandro Michele handpicked a student from each university to join the program. With ESMOD Dubai fashion design graduate Lorena Alonso Molano among them.
“I still can’t believe that I have been selected for this incredible opportunity. Meeting with the Gucci team in Italy and hearing their feedback on my collection was unbelievable” said Molano.
Five other graduates were selected by Gucci and flown to Italy last week (along with Molano) to meet with Michele and his design team at the brand’s headquarters in Rome. The trip proved to be fruitful for Molano, who is now on track towards a full-time position within the company come March 2020.
“[There’s] a need to open our horizons, since the fashion industry tends to hire from a small pool of people,” stated Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s president and chief executive officer upon the announcement.
“Diversity and inclusion were always part of our culture, but we’ve seen an acceleration in the past seven or eight months,” Bizzarri continued. “And now we are leading the change.”