Christopher Kane Bolsters Support to Young Black British Talents

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LONDON — Christopher Kane has launched the third issue of the media showcase Platform, which spotlights young Black creatives and ethnic minorities within the fashion community and on social media, and helps them break into the industry.

Platform started as a partnership with the Central Saint Martins journalism course last year, with Kane using his sizable social media following to amplify the young creatives’ work and link to the individual artists.

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The latest edition of Platform, titled “Resilience,” has gone national, stretching beyond CSM and including work from other universities in the U.K.

Platform 3 cover - Credit: Courtesy
Platform 3 cover - Credit: Courtesy

Courtesy

For the latest issue, Kane partnered with Fashion Academics Creating Equality, which was founded by Sharon Lloyd, course director at Southampton Solent University.

The issue questions the lack of Black and brown academics in the system, and Kane worked closely with the University of Southampton’s senior academic, Pascal Matthias, to select a number of creatives from submissions from all throughout the U.K.

The two also provided feedback to everyone, whether they were shortlisted or not.

The work of selected artists — including fashion designers Francesca Lake, Connie Osaremae, Katie Cheng, Joy Julius, and Matthew Solomon; fashion photographer and filmmaker Valerie Obigwilo; knitwear and illustration specialist Chyna Williams; social commentator Kiara Morris; fashion stylist Natalie Vest-Jones, and textile designer and weaver Leonie Edmead — will be posted on the Christopher Kane Instagram account over two days.

Work by Leonie Edmead - Credit: Coutesy/Abdimalig Ibrahim
Work by Leonie Edmead - Credit: Coutesy/Abdimalig Ibrahim

Coutesy/Abdimalig Ibrahim

Morris wrote in the editor’s letter that, “In the fashion industry our faces are rare, often tokenized. While our cultures are appropriated, tarnished and demonized. But here’s your chance to see the world through our eyes. There’s a huge variety of entries coming your way. Films, photography and even some poetry on display. Because our skin and our lives deserve respect, night and day.”

Last week in the U.K., the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Textiles and Fashion issued a report called “Representation and Inclusion in the Fashion Industry.” The report revealed that 68 percent of people surveyed have experienced, or witnessed, discrimination in the fashion industry based on their appearance or beliefs.

The report addressed three key areas: disability, race and LGBTQ. It found that 87.5 percent of those surveyed do not feel represented in advertising campaigns, fashion shoots or on the catwalk. Some 83.7 percent stated that if a fashion brand is shown to be non-inclusive, it would impact their decision to shop with that brand.

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