Following Chanel’s decision to appoint their first diversity and inclusion officer last week, Gucci has become the latest brand to take a step towards creating a more inclusive fashion industry, both in terms of its staff and business practices.
The Italian fashion house has hired African-American Renée Tirado, the former head of diversity and inclusion for Major League Baseball, where she developed the D&I strategy not only for the entire league but its 30 club markets. In the past, the brand has been criticised for its use of racially and religiously insensitive designs, which they were forced to withdraw in February.
Gucci’s appointment of Tirado is not just a PR scapegoat – it is one of the many ways in which Gucci are improving their brand. In March, Gucci launched their Global Changemakers Program, an ongoing and long-term project that aims to “support industry change and to foster unity through community action”.
For her first talk, Tirado has been assigned the job of creating and implementing a global strategy to make the Gucci workplace more inclusive (such as by adjudicating Gucci’s hiring process).
As well as this, Tirado will be overlooking the brand’s business initiatives taken, and will be in charge of Gucci’s Cultural Awareness Learning Program, Global Multicultural Design Fellowship Program, and the Internal Global Exchange Program.
In a video released on Tuesday afternoon, Tirado said that part of her work will be “bringing new conversations in”, such as: “How are we doing with the workforce diversity agenda? How can we bring more diverse people into not only Gucci, but the fashion industry more broadly? How do we provide a level playing field for those new employees to compete and be the future leaders of the industry?”
At MILLE we hope that the appointment of Tirado brings the positive change that we are all hoping for in the future of the fashion industry.