Maxwell Osborne, one-half of Public School NY, pens an open letter on the noticeable silence the fashion industry has cast on Black Lives Matter. “As a designer, they’ve made me question what my role is in all of this, what can I do?” Osborne says. He goes on to encourage the industry to leave the “world of make believe” in which fashion exists in to acknowledge “the real world with its very real problems.”
Stand with Black Lives Matter. Go out and educate yourself and learn how you can help and join the conversation as an active participant and not just as a passive, if well-meaning, observer. Encourage diversity on your runways and campaigns. Empower your social media fans to raise their voices. Use your designs for the public good. Attend a protest and see change in action. Raise awareness – it’s not as empty a gesture as it may seem – and others will follow your lead.
And that’s just the beginning. But start somewhere and step up. Let’s not turn our backs on the young black men and women of tomorrow. Let us learn from our fear and the stereotypes that have bound many for so long and stop perpetuating hate and casual discrimination. It is far easier to hate than to love, but what Black Lives Matter taught me is that you can only be silent for so long before you feel parts of yourself die.
(Full letter over at W)