New Talent Fashion

A spotlight on diversity in the fashion industry

We’ve announced the first event in our series: ‘An Evening with NTF… Diversity and inclusivity within the fashion industry – a path for change’.

Showcasing fashion talent from across the creative space, we value diversity and inclusion at the heart of our mission. On Wednesday 21st July at 7 p.m. we aim to educate and highlight these topics with the help of our industry-expert guests.

The virtual panel event will place speakers in the spotlight, sharing their views on the organisations currently creating room for change and how the industry can expand further. This event will shed light on what educational bodies are doing to help diversity and inclusion in the industry and what more needs to be achieved from the start of a career in fashion.

We will be partnering with Flourish in Diversity for this event, donating to their ‘A New Model for the Fashion Industry’ campaign. To improve diversity and sustainability within the fashion industry, the campaign aims to host a 6-week paid Summer training programme in 2022 for school leavers interested in a fashion career. Nishy Lall – their Non-Executive Director and Head of Young People at Sky – will sit on the panel and further explains:

“I have had the privilege to build and deliver amazing programmes over a number of years – helping to build self-belief in young people and support underrepresented youth in finding fulfilling work in the media industry. As a London College of Fashion alumni, I had intended to embark on a career within the fashion industry. However, not seeing myself represented within the sector as a British Asian meant I did not find the support needed to pursue that career path. 

“My lived experience and commitment to create opportunities no matter what your background is a huge part of my role at Flourish in Diversity. Working alongside two incredible women, Giulia Bottari and Amelia Akanni, we have come together through a shared passion to promote diversity and sustainability within Fashion, drawing on over 30 years of experience in our respective industries – Fashion and Media – to implement valuable change for cleaner and fairer industry.”

Laura Johnson, our second panellist and Director at Zebedee – specialist talent agents supplying diverse models and actors worldwide – is a qualified social worker and has been working with vulnerable children and adults with a variety of needs for ten years. Noting on the event and its importance, Laura shares:

“Diversity in the fashion industry is so important that I have dedicated my career to it. Diverse people need to see themselves represented in the industry. Change in the industry will bring inclusion, acceptance and a brand new wave of diverse talent.”

Alongside Nishy and Laura, Natasha Clarke – Artist and Project Leader for ‘Black Leadership & Representation’ – will also be a guest speaker at the event and further asserts the need for diversity in the creative industries:

“Creating inclusive representation allows for a more inviting environment for marginalised groups to be involved in. For me, it’s vital to have more black representation in leadership roles too. In order to work towards eradicating systemic racism, not only in society but also in creative industries, the core infrastructures of these systems need to be shaken – black, ethnic minority and marginalised groups should have positions of power to create change from the inside out. My work aims to address these inequalities, identify barriers and provide solutions.”

The final guest speaker to be announced, Sonal Sohal – Mentoring Officer at the University of Westminster – joins the industry-expert line-up, offering 20+ years of experience as a Senior Designer in the fashion industry and knowledge of working within education. The first in a large family to embark on a career in the arts, Sonal shares:

“When I took my first role in fashion, it became very apparent to me that there were not many people that I could identify with, and I quickly realised that I would need to make my personality my weapon. Although the fashion industry is very international and diverse, in the UK I have found the roles within design and buying were not.”

She aims to highlight her personal story on the night, sharing how professionals can create change and support a prosperous future for the fashion business.

An Evening with NTF… Diversity and inclusivity within the fashion industry – a path for change, will be hosted by our Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, Hafiz Hudson, and moderated by Editor, Marianna Ricciardi. 

Tickets are available via Eventbrite.

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