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Some People Are Questioning Chanel’s Hiring Of A White Woman To Lead Their Diversity Efforts

Like many major institutions, the Fashion Industry has been accused in the past of gatekeeping and breeding a lack of diversity in its designers, models, and photographers. This lack of variety in the stories told by the industry has resulted in more than a few controversies in the recent past for some of the biggest names in fashion.

Brands like Gucci, Prada, and H&M have all seen major backlash after featuring products that were more than a little racist. Back in December of 2018, it was Prada with their Golliwog-like figures displayed in the windows of their SoHo boutique. Then there was H&M and their online page featuring a young, black child wearing a shirt that had the word monkey on it. Less than a month later it was Gucci in February 2019, with their sweater that — when pulled up — had the dark features and red lips of a blackface character.

These controversies caused more than a little public outcry when they happened. Either because of these instances or because they realized it was way past time, all three of these company’s created some sort of position to encourage diversity and inclusion in their organizations.

Now, it seems that Chanel has done the same but their hire has a major difference than others in the industry.

Twitter / @BoF

Earlier this month, Fiona Pargeter — who previously held the same position at Swiss bank UBS — joined Chanel as their Head of Diversity and Inclusion. Though Pargeter obviously comes with previous experience, she also lacks something that seems important in an inclusion director. Namely, she isn’t a member of one of the marginalized communities Chanel hopes to further incorporate.

According to a post on VOGUE, the role was created as “a sign of Chanel’s commitment and its importance to the house.” In an interview with THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, a Chanel representative elaborated on this new position. The statement read:

“Fiona Pargeter just joined the company in the position of head of Diversity and Inclusion to evolve our existing diversity and inclusion approach. Diversity and Inclusion has been led for a couple of years in our People and Organization function by our people communication and engagement leader. Fiona has been hired to continue to create momentum for our efforts. This recruitment is a sign of our commitment to these topics and its importance to the house.”

While the position doesn’t necessarily require the director of diversity and inclusion to be a minority, this appointment does raise some valid questions.

Twitter / @Brigitte_Vezina

Was Pargeter the best person for the job based on her experience and skill and is that why she got the job or was it another example of failed diversification? Was her hiring a purposeful attempt to avoid tokenism and diversity hiring? Only the decision-makers at Chanel can speak towards that.

Can a white person honestly do a good enough job at reaching out to marginalized communities? Do they understand enough about the racism that Black and brown people face? Can they make a difference in the systems that oppress these communities? We aren’t sure but history has shown us that the only ones who create this kind of systematic change are people who have experienced the atrocities of said system themselves.

In response to Gucci’s controversy, streetwear designer Dapper Dan was tapped to lead a predominately black “Changemakers Council.” Additionally, the brand hired a Black Vice President of Brand and Culture Engagement, Antoine Phillips. Prada recruited director Ava DuVernay and artist Theaster Gates to co-chair the Diversity and Inclusion Council after their own backlash. Likewise, H&M made their own hires after their accusations of racism. Annie Wu was instated as Global Leader of Diversity & Inclusiveness for the company and Nigerian-American Ezinne Kwubiri was made the North American lead.

Can these Black people and people of color do a better job than Pargeter just because they understand the pain of racism? Possibly but we can’t say for sure.

Of course, Twitter had a lot to say about the Chanel hiring as well.

Twitter/ @heirjordan973

This Twitter user pointed out that Chanel’s response to too few Black people and POC in their company was to hire yet another white person. It almost reads like a bad joke when it’s put that way but it is exactly what the fashion company did in this situation.

There’s no telling how impactful this hire will prove for Chanel or other members of the industry but, in the meantime, we can vote with our dollars instead. Buy from Black and POC owned brands and know for sure that your money is going directly back into marginalized communities instead of systems that would further oppress them.

Forget The ‘Sexy’ Costume And Dress Up As 2019’s Most Talked-About Mystical Creature: A Mermaid

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Forget The ‘Sexy’ Costume And Dress Up As 2019’s Most Talked-About Mystical Creature: A Mermaid

We’re all a little basic sometimes. And don’t get me wrong, I love a quick costume that I can pick up at a local Forever 21 as much as the next girl. But we all know the costumes that get overdone year after year; the witch, the sexy nurse, the black cats, the angel… they’re just straight-up basic. So how about this year you try something that doesn’t feel outdated or boring? Like a mystical creature from the depths of the sea.

2019 has been the year of the mermaid, so why not channel your inner sea-princess this Halloween?

credit Instagram @peter_garcia8

2019 has been the year of overhyped mermaids. From the wild reactions people had to Halle Bailey playing Ariel in The Little Mermaid’s live action remake announced earlier this year, to the premiere of The Little Mermaid Live! —another remake of the classic Disney film to be broadcasted on live TV. What’s more, mermaids are one of Pinterest’s top costume searches, even in 2019.

So we say, clad yourself in pearls, seashells and glittery scales. You could go modern and sleek, Nicole Kidman-style in Aquaman, or classic and romantic like Disney’s children’s classic. This costume gives you lots of room to let your creativity run wild and make the mystical character your own. 

We wanted to offer some help, so we rounded up our favorite mermaid makeup inspo for you to get planning your Halloween getup:

 Technicolor Barbie doll inspired mermaid.

credit Instagram @wiktoria_makeup

Think 90s Mermaid Barbie doll. No Barbie-inspired makeup look is complete without Barbie Pink and Purple. For this look, beauty blogger, Wiktoria went all out with those Barbie-inspired hues. Iridescent products are key for any mermaid interpretation, so don’t be shy. Bring the color from your cheekbones to the side of your face and brows for a colorful, artful take on the underwater look.

Pearls are a mermaid’s best friend

credit Instagram @Jamescharles

When constructing a sea-themed costume, pearls are a must for a luxe, boujee mermaid look. Case in point: James Charles. And because we’re guessing you’ll be tired after you’re done struggling to glue those pearls on your face, keep the rest of the look natural. Maybe add blue tones to your eyes for an under-the-sea feel, and top it all off with metallic blue lips.

Iridescent scales 

Credit Instagram @miniinaaz

Yes, this looks like you need a certain level of makeup experience and expertise to pull off the technique. But we promise you, it’s a lot easier than it looks. Recreate the look of self-confessed makeup geek, Naz Rahman, by using fishnet stockings. Hold the stocks over your face and dust the iridescent shadows through the holes. Easier than you thought, amirite?

The Little Mermaid with a twist 

credit Instagram @zhilabeauty

…if the fishnet tip is still too much work. Draw the scales with colorful eyeliner. Put those Euphoria-inspired neon liners to good use this Halloween before the fad ends. 

Barely-there mermaid look

credit Instagram @peter_garcia88

This one is for that last minute invite to a Halloween party. If you didn’t have anything planned and need to whip up a costume at the very last minute, we got you covered. Do your everyday look, and brush a bit of pink or blue shadow over fishnet stockings for subtle scales. Stop by a craft store on your way to the party and glue a few pearls over your temples and forehead. Now you’re ready to go trick-or-treating!

The princess of the ocean

credit Instagram @moninamua

I mean… wow. Why no go all out like makeup artist influencer @moninamua? Let that creativity run wild, it’s Halloween! Visit your local craft store and bag some sequins, paper shells, and pearls to recreate this look. 

Simple and Classic

credit Instagram @lonyeamaiden

For a more subtle and classic take on the sea-creature, get yourself a pair of seashells to cover your boobage and keep the hair and makeup natural and beachy. Add a metallic eyeshadow and matching lip for a little bit of a pop —it’s Halloween after all! Don’t keep it too boring, girl.

The artsy take 

credit Instagram @glowbykt

This is for the gals that want a less literal costume. Create a wave-inspired effect across your face and add touches of glitter to evoque a sense of bubbly rippled-water.

Extra Extra 

Credit Instagram @Romeoislove

If “Go hard or go home” are words you live by, then this level of commitment to a theme is for you. Make a statement with pearls, a whole crown, a wig, blue body paint and purple lips. Then proceed to cash that ‘Best costume of the night’ prize, you earned it. 

Dead mermaid bc Halloween, duh!

credit Instagram @simply.mandiej

The occasion calls for a costume, but also for scary vibes —it is all hallows’ eve after all! So if you’re looking for a dead-something or another, add some fale blood and under-eye bags to your mermaid look, et voila! You’re welcome. 

Meghan Markle Was Spotted Wearing A Pair Of Mexican Huaraches That Cost $225 While In South Africa

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Meghan Markle Was Spotted Wearing A Pair Of Mexican Huaraches That Cost $225 While In South Africa

nisolo.com / @brothervellies

The Duchess of Sussex was spotted out in public on official business for the first time after giving birth to baby Archie. Meghan Markle was seen earlier this month, during the royal couple’s 10-day trip to South Africa, wearing a pair of tan-colored Mexican Huaraches. Naturally, we were excited to see the Mexican footwear staple on such a prominent figure. Here’s everything we know about the royal’s choice of shoes.

The sighting of the royal baby made headlines across the globe, but for us, it’s what was on Markle’s royal feet that caught our eye. 

credit Instagram @brothervellies

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s began their first overseas trip as a family on Mon., and according to the couple’s official Instagram account, their 10-day South African tour will focus primarily on “community, grassroots leadership, women’s and girls’ rights, mental health, HIV/AIDS and the environment.” Their busy calendar and lots of visits to various places around South Africa kept our news and social media feeds packed with Royal family content. Meghan Markle’s down-to-earth styling choice, however, grabbed our attention the most. 

Meghan is known for defying royal fashion protocols with her down-to-earth fashion choices.

Credit Instagram @royalsussex

She was seen sporting a pair of black jeans and a Madewell denim jacket —yep, this royal wears Madewell too. The #ootd was pretty on point for the occasion, a casual visit to Monwabisi Beach in South Africa, where the couple learned about the work that the organization ‘Waves for Change’ does supporting local surf mentors who provide mental health services to vulnerable young people living in under-resourced communities. The Duchess rounded out her beach day outfit with a white J. Crew button-down shirt and last, but definitely not least, a pair of tan-colored huaraches. 

The woven sandals worn by the royal are traditional Mexican pre-hispanic shoes.

Credit Instagram @tachmonkey

Huaraches are a popular style of handmade, pre-Columbian footwear, that is said to have originated from the Mexican states of Jalisco, Michoacán, and Yucatán in particular. Typically associated with Mexican farmworkers, huaraches were popularized in the US due to 60s hippie culture, and continue to be popular with both Mexicans and visitors to the country.

The Duchess of Sussex’s choice of footwear was not at random. Royals’ outfits are carefully thought out. 

credit Twitter @aideefrescas

Being part of the royal family comes with a lot of traditions and rules that affect the clothes they wear and how they wear them. Megan’s shoe choice was not at all coincidental. The tight fashion protocols given to the royals make it important to note that Markle’s huaraches were not just chosen at random.

The huaraches are made by Brother Vellies, a brand that makes “traditional African footwear”.

credit Instagram @brothervellies

With the goal of introducing the rest of the world to her “favorite traditional African footwear”, while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs within Africa, Aurora James founded footwear and accessories label Brother Vellies. James’ label creates luxury items handmade in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Morocco. Their boots, shoes and sandals are all designed in styles that “maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts.”

The luxury ‘slow-fashion’ version of huaraches is way more expensive than the price you might get on the streets of Mexico.

credit www.brothervellies.com

Listed on the website, Brother Vellies states that the shoes are; “a little update to our favorite handwoven braided leather sandal. Made in México. The name ‘huarache’ comes from ‘kwarachi’ in the Purépecha language spoken in the highlands of Michoacán.” And as much as we love seeing Mexican and Latino elements represented in the highest spheres of fashion, consumers should know that the pre-Columbian shoes made in Mexico are not items of luxury, but traditional footwear made and sold by indigenous people all over the country.  The Brother Vellies pair will set you back a whopping $225. Now, we know it’s not a “high price” to pay for a pair of ‘slow’ eco-conscious fashion find. But we’re fairly certain that these shoes “made in Mexico” are made by the same artisans who sell their own footwear on the streets —at a much more reasonable $250 Mexican pesos

For luxury ‘slow fashion’ brands, supporting local artisans comes with a higher price tag. 

credit Instagram @brothervellies

The Slow Fashion movement has grown steadily since the late 2000’s and has never been as relevant and on-trend as it is now. A reaction to Fast Fashion, championed by high street giants such as H&M and the recently bankrupt Forever 21, the growth of Slow Fashion has been driven by a wide array of independent designers seeking to place the customer’s focus on durability and quality rather than the immediacy of micro-trends. 

A habit of slow fashion brands is to hype certain concepts and products as new and innovative, when in fact, they have been thriving for long before Slow Fashion as a concept became mainstream. In this case, huaraches, have been the footwear of choice for indigenous people in Mexico for centuries before it became a fashion staple to buy for $225 dollars. 

For Mexicans everywhere, huaraches are part of culture, so we can’t help but feel a little bit skeptical about the luxury version.

credit Instagram @mexicansole

It’s hard to track the manufacturing process and to find out whether the financial profit that the shoes are raising is being destined to support the artisans and their local communities. Or if they are at the very least, receiving fair compensation for the work they put into the artisanal shoes they’ve known for generations, and which are now being sold to NYC’s elite at a luxury price point. 

We celebrate Meghan Markle for bringing under-represented fashion pieces to the mainstream,  and possibly making ‘huaraches’ an “it shoe” for the season. But huaraches have been a part of Mexican culture since time immemorial and we can’t help but feel a little skeptical of where the hundreds of dollars that these shoes are raising are going. It seems to us, that if you want to recreate the royal’s look, you could save yourself some $$$ and take a trip south of the border to buy yourself a pair of handmaid shoes that will profit the artisan directly —and enjoy some bomb food and sights while you’re at it.