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Most Brands Ignored or Refused to Answer New York Times’ Questions About Diversity Progress

Models walk the Chanel runway in October, 2018 | Source: Shutterstock

The publication reached out to 64 fashion brands with more than $50 million in annual revenue or that had Instagram followings of more than one million, 15 major department stores and online sellers and fashion magazines to inquire about the representation of Black employees in executive-level positions and diversity and inclusion measures at the companies.

Only four of the 64 fashion brands attempted to answer each of the Times’ questions: Tory Burch, Coach, Kate Spade and Christian Siriano. Others, including Thom Browne, Burberry and Calvin Klein, answered at least half of the questions. Many European brands referred to legal hindrances to reporting diversity figures. The majority of the retailers either declined to respond or ignored the Times’ inquiry.

The Times’ report underscores much of fashion’s enduring unwillingness to be transparent about their diversity and inclusion efforts, despite making public commitments and launching marketing campaigns.

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