CFDA Launches IMPACT in Collaboration with Creatively

The New Digital Initiative Identifies, Connects, Supports, and Nurtures Black and Brown Fashion Creatives and Professionals

The Council of Fashion Designers of America will launch IMPACT this coming Friday, a digital platform that aims to champion the work that black and brown people do in the world of fashion.

This initiative was made possible by the CFDA’s teaming up with Creatively, a job platform for creatives established last May by Stacey Bendet, founder and chief creative officer of Alice + Olivia. Creatively’s talent directory and the effort as a whole will be bolstered by a litany of companies joining from the very beginning, including including Tom Ford, Tory Burch, Skims, Alice + Olivia, Rag & Bone, Saks Off 5th, Veronica Beard, Hope for Flowers and Good American.

This initiative aims at beginning to rectify the long tradition of systemic racism in the fashion industry. The CFDA would like to see this change the racial dynamics in fashion, but more than that, they hope that IMPACT can be an example that other industries can emulate. In a nutshell, IMPACT is a platform where this massive industry which includes designers, retailers, manufactures, education, and much more can make job opportunities–full time, part time, and even internships–known to members of black and brown communities.

This work is essential to the future of American fashion, which must be diverse, equitable and inclusive. The CFDA is proud to take the lead in this important effort for the industry and beyond. We launch Impact with a specific focus on widening talent pipelines and advancing career development for Black and brown creatives and professionals. In the future, we will further the initiative to also address other inequities within the fashion system.

– CaSandra Diggs, president of the CFDA

As stated before, the CFDA couldn’t have done this alone. They and the CFDA Black Advisory Board worked closely with Creatively to make IMPACT possible. The Black Advisory Board’s mission is to address these systemic inequalities in the world of fashion and includes big names such as Samira Nasr, editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar; Bozoma Saint John, chief marketing officer of Netflix; Stacie Henderson, Tod’s Group U.S. head of e-commerce and digital, and CFDA member Martin Cooper. Tracy Reese is executive board vice chairwoman.

Creatively is committed to nurturing a community that truly reflects the diversity across the full spectrum of the creative world, and we know that Black and Brown creatives in particular are often underserved. We’re fortunate to be partnering with the CFDA on this important initiative, with the goal of creating more opportunities for Black and Brown creatives and professionals at top brands.

– Gregory Gittrich, CEO of Creatively

IMPACT has a two part approach that centers around talent and brands. On the talent side, they will be looking for possible up and comers from different industry professionals and educational institutions, particularly HBCUs and the SUNY and CUNY programs. The brands, on the other hand, will be the ones offering job opportunities. This means that, through Creatively, they will be able to connect the best talent with the best brands. It should be noted that, while IMPACT is focused on helping people of color, all are welcome to join the platform. Ultimately IMPACT is a way for those who don’t already have a foot in the door through connections or other means.

The program goes live on Friday, and will continue to bring in more brands through the rest of the year.