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Prada forms diversity council after racism allegations

Prada has formed a new Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, following accusations of racism. 

The fashion house’s new committee will be co-chaired by American artist and activist Theaster Gates and American film director and producer Ava  DuVernay. Other prominent academic and cultural experts will also sit on the committee.

The Italian fashion house pulled a series of black monkey key chains with exaggerated red lips amid accusations of racism in December.

The council aims to “elevate voices of colour within the company and the fashion industry at-large” and the committee will advise the company “as it invests in diverse talent development and expands opportunities for young students of colour in the fashion industry.”

Prada and the council will partner with universities and organisations to promote internships and apprenticeships in diverse communities “to close the inclusion gap in the fashion industry”.

In November Dolce & Gabbana had to cancel a major show in China following an offensive advertising campaign.

More recently Gucci apologised for selling a ‘racist’ black balaclava jumper with red cut-out around the mouth area and earlier this week Katy Perry Collections removed two shoe styles from sale after social media users claimed they were racist.

Chief executive and lead creative director at Prada, Miuccia Prada said: “Prada is committed to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent to contribute to all departments of the company.

“In addition to amplifying voices of colour within the industry we will help ensure that the fashion world is reflective of the world in which we live, and we are thrilled to be working with long-time collaborators Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates on this important initiative.”

DuVernay is known best for directing Oscar-wining historical drama Selma as well as criminal justice documentary 13.

Gates is the executive director of Chicago-based Rebuild Foundation, an arts, education and cultural development organisation which aims to transform urban communities.

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