The latest virtual edition of FashMash Pioneers saw us examining fashion's anti-racist future with Dior Bediako.
An evening dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement, the talk placed how the fashion industry's traditions are being questioned under the spotlight. Importantly, it focused on how there's a new generation driving the charge on transformation, centred on anti-racism and empowering a more inclusive group of future leaders.
Bediako is the founder of Pepper Your Talk, a phy-gital platform supporting the career needs of new talent in the industry, and The Junior Network, fashion’s first member’s club for young professionals. She established both off the back of personal frustration as a new graduate. With the help of her network of industry leaders, she has since supported employees at companies from ASOS to Net-a-Porter. That's exactly why FashMash has partnered with her for the launch of our new mentoring scheme, Young Pioneers.
Join us as we explore everything from perfomative allyship to how we ensure a more inclusive industry becomes the new status quo.
Watch the full interview on our YouTube above and check out some of the highlights here:
ON PERFORMATIVE ALLYSHIP
“When I spoke to my network about Black Lives Matter, it was a case of looking at the social media of the brands they worked for and the real stories of what they had experienced at the brands. They just did not match up. There was no correlation.”
ON THOSE BLACK SQUARES
“I do think that show of solidarity is good, but only if it's followed by positive action. So performances will always be performances, but we want to see what comes next. And that's where we are now.”
ON BUSINESS CHANGE
"There is a business case for black representation in the workplace. You stand to get higher profits if you make these changes. It’s a long term thing. It’s not something that’s going to be fixed quickly. And companies have to be open to the fact they’re going to get it wrong and they’re going to be called out for it."
"Black girls in my network feel they have to be exceptional to be hired over a white girl... Black girls have to jump over hurdles; go that extra mile. And that’s just to be considered for the role."
“I hope that the fashion industry becomes a fair place, that every individual is motivated to do their best work and is treated fairly in accordance to how much they bring to the table, and not who they are, as in what they look like. I think people should be judged on their work, values, and ideas. All of it should be looked at like a complete circle and not just zero in on specific areas."
Tickets to the webinar were free of charge with an optional donation to Bediako's charity of choice, the Godwin Lawson Foundation.
FashMash Pioneers is sponsored by Klaviyo.