33 Black Fashion Powerhouses on Changes They’d Like to See

“One thing I’ve noticed that I would love to see more of and that I think is already working within the industry is that social media has made things more democratic. We’re in a cultural renaissance, so to speak, where people now have the power to drag a beauty brand for its lack of inclusive shades—or uplift one. And I’m hopeful for the future… Younger generations are shopping by their values and are holding companies accountable within the fashion industry, beauty industry, and beyond. But even with that, speaking up as consumers is just a start. At the top level, the opinions of the few need to become the opinions of the many. We should be hiring more black, brown, Pakistani, and all different types of people at the executive level, not just as interns. Because the lack of inclusivity directly shows through the work they’re putting out.

“We’re in 2019, the age of information where you can literally google anything to know if it’s controversial or not. I think it’s laziness on the part of these people to be pushing this insensitive stuff out, and to an extent, there is a direct stirring of the pot. You’ve heard of the idea that bad press is good no matter what, and I think a lot of these brands are willing to put out controversial work just to get you talking about the brand. So within the industry, and as consumers, we need to continue to have conversations around what we expect and are willing to accept from brands.

“Inclusivity doesn’t just mean color of the skin, it’s beyond that. What needs to happen in order for the industry to change is for there to be more honest conversations; there needs to be a sharing of more ideas coming from everywhere. Because if we’re not having an honest conversation, the firewalls between us grow larger.” — Sir John, Celebrity Makeup Artist and Co–Executive Producer of American Beauty Star on Lifetime