Two fashion connoisseurs and industry stalwarts have joined forces to launch an agency in the U.S. to offer brands solutions to become more diverse and inclusive.
Chrissy Rutherford and Danielle Prescod, who cut their teeth at top titles including Harper’s Bazaar and Elle magazine, took to their social platforms at the height of the Black Lives Movement earlier this month, garnering over 7.5 millions views, urging their followers to speak out against systemic racism.
Uniting their voices, they formed a new agency called 2BG (2 Black Girls) to consult to brands in the fashion and beauty space looking for crisis-management. The duo will be working with influencers, offering two-hour seminars that cover the Dos and Don’ts for anti-racism work. The sessions will chart examples of brands and individuals who have gotten things both wrong and right, suggestions for how to be an ally with actionable steps to take both on and offline, and the historical context of how racism relates to fashion and beauty.
“People are more willing to listen than they have been in the past,” Prescod told the CFDA in an interview. “They are realizing that they have been complicit all along, and they are more willing than ever to hear about how they can change their behavior going forward.
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The pair are focused on making certain no one deflects blame, and instead takes it upon themselves to find ways within their line of work to be agents of change, says the CFDA.
“When we talk to brands, we tell them things like, it’s problematic when you say ‘oh this girl is off brand,’ because that becomes codified language for saying she doesn’t look as expensive or elegant. You as a brand – or any of the teams involved with creating an image, have the power to transform someone into someone elegant, and we can shift the public perception of whatever that person looks like. That is completely within your power.”
Rutherford added, “The fashion industry has repeatedly fumbled this very important responsibility and this power. Fashion dictates what is cool, what is desirable, what is worthy, and what is expensive. Cultural appropriation has been a huge conversation in the industry for a while now for this reason. You exclude Black women from this narrative but you are constantly co-opting this narrative from Black women, but it’s not cool until it’s on a white person. When you are aware of this stuff and you see it happening over and over again, it just feels really sh*tty.”
The full interview can be read on www.cfda.com