Notable fashion house, Gucci, has announced the Gucci Changemakers program (a global program and scholarship fund), aimed at creating more opportunities for talented young people of diverse backgrounds.
The Changemakers plan comes in various aspects, such as, the Changemakers Fund, a company-wide volunteering initiative, plus a scholarship program. The $5 million fund will be fueled into community-based programs, whiles the scholarship program will help several talents from around the globe pursue careers in fashion. The company-wide volunteering initiative will also give staff of Gucci an opportunity to embark on four paid days off to undertake volunteer work to help address issues such as equality, protection of the environment, education and support refugees.
“I believe in the promise of the next generation, and through our scholarship fund we will also create more opportunities for talented young people of diverse backgrounds to gain access to careers in the fashion industry,” said Gucci president Marco Bizzarri concerning the program.
The move is said to correct the backlash it received from the fashion fraternity after launching a balaclava face mask jumper which resembled a blackface. Bizzarri said, “I believe in dialogue, building bridges and taking quick action. This is why we started working immediately on the long-term infrastructure at Gucci to address our shortcomings. And now through our Changemakers program, we will invest important resources to unify and strengthen our communities across North America, with a focus on programs that will impact youth and the African-American community.”
In spirit of keeping the program running, Gucci has set up a council made up of Cleo Wade, Dapper Dan and Will.i.am to see to the accountability, transparency and long-term impact of the program. Dapper Dan, disclosed on the benefits of the Gucci made initiative, “As a partner, I am proud to work with Gucci and other community leaders to help guide programs that will create meaningful impact for the Black community and fashion as a whole. It is imperative that we have a seat at the table to say how we should be represented and reimagined. Through our work together, Gucci is in a position to lead the overall industry toward becoming a better more inclusive one.”
By: Larry Adams