Image: Gucci x Dapper Dan
Gucci has announced a new global ‘Changemakers’ programme to fuel the company’s commitment to creating lasting social impact in its communities and within the fashion industry.
Gucci has launched its global ‘Gucci Changemakers‘ programme following the recent unintentional balaclava jumper incident. The brand this week announced the first four initiatives in a long-term plan of actions designed to further embed cultural diversity and awareness in the company, including creating new management positions dedicated to diversity and inclusion; a Multi-Cultural Design Scholarship programme; a new diversity and inclusivity awareness programme for employees; and an internal global exchange programme.
Initially launched internally in 2018, the programme includes a multi-year $5 million Changemakers Fund to support social change by investing in community-based programmes in cities across North America, focusing on building strong connections and opportunities within the African-American community and communities of colour.
“I believe in dialogue, building bridges and taking quick action,” said Marco Bizzarri, Gucci President and CEO. “This is why we started working immediately on the long-term infrastructure at Gucci to address our shortcomings. And now through our Changemakers programme, we will invest important resources to unify and strengthen our communities across North America, with a focus on programmes that will mpact youth and the African-American community,” he continued. “I believe in the progmise of the next generation, and through our scholoarship fund we will also create more opportunities for talented young people of diverse backgrounds to gain access to careers in the fashion industry.”
Gucci also announced an external ‘Gucci Changemakers Council’ to ensure transparency, accountability and long-term impact. Council members include poet and activist Cleo Wade, entertainer and philanthropist Will.i.am, and Harlem Couturier Dapper Dan, alongside other community leaders and social change experts. The council will select non-profit partner organisations across North America.
“As a partner, I am proud to work with Gucci and other community leaders to help guide programmes that will create meaningful impact for the Black community and fashion as a whole,” said Harlem couturier Dapper Dan, who shared on Instagram that he has been working closely with Gucci on this programme. “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.”