Gucci is continuing to make it clear that it's doubling down on its commitment to diversity. Last week, the Italian fashion house announced a global program to support industry change. Simply called "Gucci Changemakers," the program's aim is to fuel the company's commitment to lasting social impact, according to a press release.
“I believe in dialogue, building bridges and taking quick action,” Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizzarri said in a press release. “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.”
Bizzarri continued, “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.” In the same release, Dapper Dan said he was happy to work with Gucci to 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.”
Gucci's Changemakers roll-out includes a $5 million USD fund to support building opportunities within the African-American community and communities of colour at-large; a scholarship program where each student shall receive a $20,000 USD grant toward completing their college education; and 18,000 Gucci employees worldwide to dedicate up to 4 paid days off for volunteering activities in their local communities. Further, the brand will enlist an external Changemakers council.
Council members include: fashion activist Bethann Hardison, activists Brittany Packnett, Cleo Wade, DeRay McKesson, Michaela Angela Davis, Dapper Dan, Professor of History and Chicano Studies, UCLA Eric Avila, CEO of The IVY Inc Ivy McGregor, business leader Kimberly Blackwell, Gucci's Internal diversity and inclusion chair Robert Carter, Gucci's North American president and CEO Susan Chokachi, lawyer and writer Yaseen Eldik, Equality Now's executive director Yasmeen Hassan, Schure Media Group's co-founder & executive vice president (and Beyoncé's publicist!) Yvette Noel-Schure, and finally, entertainer Will.i.am.