Italy’s Camera Nazionale Della Moda outlined the path towards diversity across the industry and how inclusion can be implemented throughout the fashion system, at a summit Tuesday, held at Milan’s historic Gerolamo children’s theater.
Named “Including Diversity” the event coincided with World Disability Day, in an attempt to further underscore the chamber’s commitment, paving the way for a more inclusive industry.
“Paradoxically, as the world is increasingly interconnected and globalised, fashion struggles to represent the diversity of the world, thus we believe that fashion, which has always been a pioneering industry and disruptor, should interpret an important role in proposing solutions that will include all aspects of personhood,” said Carlo Capasa, the head of Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana, as he introduced the event that unfolded before an international crowd.
During the conference, Camera Moda presented its “Diversity and Inclusion Manifesto,“ a document that details guidelines to strategically cultivating a safe and supportive working environment and ultimately creating a substantial culture shift in fashion.
How can this be enforced on a wider scale? Breaking various stereotypes and stigmas promoted by fashion for decades is no easy task, according to industry experts. A report by BSR and Wise Growth in partnership with Kering presented during the event, demonstrated that women in the Italian luxury supply chain are more vulnerable to poor working conditions than men, despite being a majority in the workforce (63%) and generally better educated than men, while the large majority (75%) of management and leadership positions are held by men.
In reaction to the results of this study, panel speakers discussed how they have made strides in incorporating this mindset into work environments. Pomellato COO Rossella Cerutti, for example, showcased a presentation of the jewelry maker’s various training programs for women geared at empowering females in order break the so-called “glass ceiling” that has in the past, impeded females throughout the nation and the world.
Gender equality wasn’t the only issue discussed during the panel. Other speakers, who included Paralympic athlete Veronica Yoko Plebani and Brazilian influencer Paola Antonini, also shed light on their dedication to the representation of disabled people in the industry. Chris Richmond Nzi, founder of the app Mygrants, explored the potential of the integration of migrants into working environments.
Although the event played an integral role in presenting a series of protagonists that have been influential transforming the system, leaders say there are still major strides to be made.
Lea T, a transgender fashion model and activist concluded the talk. “Only most recently I have started to see a change in the way the fashion industry has posed itself over the years. Fashion has to change because it is a mirror of our times.”