The Business of Fashion Podcast
Aniyia Williams on Why Self-Examination Is Critical to Dismantling Racism in Fashion

Aniyia Williams on Why Self-Examination Is Critical to Dismantling Racism in Fashion

July 1, 2020
LONDON, United Kingdom — Aniyia Williams is ready for difficult conversations. The opera singer-turned-fashion tech entrepreneur has navigated systemic racism within corporate culture for years. And as companies slowly begin the process of dismantling policies and norms that harm Black people within them, Williams has a few ideas on where they go from here.

“The biggest thing that gets in the way is self-interest,” Williams told BoF Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed in the latest edition of the BoF Podcast. “Discomfort is the key ingredient to getting to the other side.”

  • Self-examination is critical. “It starts with the blind spots,” Williams said. “You are going to find things you don’t like about yourself.” Companies should look to their own practises and corporate culture to understand who they benefit and what needs to change.
  • You’re not going to hire your way to diversity, inclusion and equity. “What’s more important,” said Williams, is the environment that exists to support those people once they’re hired. Diversity and inclusion initiatives can only go so far, and it starts with senior leadership recognising the need to change both policies and company culture. “If the leadership isn’t buying into those ideals... I don't know how you can expect anyone else to,” Williams added.
  • Act to make it true. Aside from social media posts and one-time donations, fashion companies need to push for a larger, longer-term change. Diversity and inclusion at its core is about creating shared realities that understand what each employee is facing. “What is our relationship to each other going to be and is it going to be as fair and equitable as it can be?” asked Williams.
 
 

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Activist DeRay Mckesson on the Realities of Social Injustice

Activist DeRay Mckesson on the Realities of Social Injustice

June 5, 2020

The Black Lives Matter activist recently launched 8CantWait, a new campaign aimed at reducing police violence.

 

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A-Cold-Wall Plots Next Chapter in Milan | Inside Fashion

A-Cold-Wall Plots Next Chapter in Milan | Inside Fashion

January 12, 2020

Samuel Ross sat down with Tim Blanks to discuss preparing his luxury streetwear brand for its next stage of growth, as he’s sharpening and humanizing his approach.

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Tyler Mitchell, From Skateboarding to Photographing Beyoncé | Inside Fashion

Tyler Mitchell, From Skateboarding to Photographing Beyoncé | Inside Fashion

July 26, 2019
Speaking in conversation with Imran Amed, the photographer behind Beyoncé's September 2018 Vogue cover talks identity, social media and how he found his way into fashion photography.
 
You can watch Tyler's 2017 American Eagle campaign film here.

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DeRay Mckesson on Dismantling the Legacy of Racism in America | BoF VOICES

DeRay Mckesson on Dismantling the Legacy of Racism in America | BoF VOICES

April 8, 2019

Speaking at BoF VOICES, the activist and author unpacks his 'five big ideas' on how to redefine and dismantle the realities of social injustice.

To watch DeRay's talk at VOICES 2018 click here.  

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Supermodel Adut Akech on the Legacy of Being a Refugee | BoF VOICES

Supermodel Adut Akech on the Legacy of Being a Refugee | BoF VOICES

March 29, 2019

From living in a Kenyan refugee camp to travelling the globe as an international top model, the industry’s name to watch reveals her journey.

To watch Adut's conversation with Tim Blanks at VOICES 2018 click here

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Tim Blanks on the Autumn 2019 Season | Inside Fashion

Tim Blanks on the Autumn 2019 Season | Inside Fashion

March 8, 2019

BoF's editor-at-large sits down with Imran Amed to discuss the commercial potential of bourgeois style, Fendi and Chanel's emotional farewell to Karl Lagerfeld, and the cultural impact of fashion's reflection on social issues.

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This episode of Inside Fashion is brought to you by Klarna.

Bethann Hardison, K. Jean-Raymond, LaQuan Smith and P. Robinson on Fashion in America | BoF VOICES

Bethann Hardison, K. Jean-Raymond, LaQuan Smith and P. Robinson on Fashion in America | BoF VOICES

February 4, 2019

At BoF’s VOICES, the creatives spoke about the barriers that black designers face and how a new generation is finding success outside the fashion system.

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