When Donald Trump issued his shocking immigration ban halting people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, notable representatives from all major industries took a stand. All major industries except for one: the fashion world.
While chief executives from Starbucks to Apple spoke out against the ban, and stars such as Kerry Washington, Lena Dunham and the Hadid sisters followed close behind, not one designer or fashion label voiced their concerns. Well fashionistas, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Nike’s president and CEO Mark Parker has taken the lead, issuing a powerful letter to his employees decrying the immigration ban.
Parker begins his statement by proclaiming that Nike “believes in a world where everyone celebrates the power of diversity. Regardless of whether or how you worship, where you come from or who you love, everyone’s individual experience is what makes us stronger as a whole.”
He doesn’t leave any room for interpretation or “alternative facts.”
To prove his point, the chairman shines a spotlight on British four-time Olympic medalist and Nike-sponsored sprinter Mo Farah, who, because he was born in Somalia and is currently training in Ethiopia, may not be able to re-enter the US.
Parker writes, “Today, I’m thinking of everyone who is impacted, like Sir Mo Farah…What Mo will always have — what the entire Nike family can always count on — is the support of this company. We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every member of our family: our colleagues, our athletes and their loved ones.”
Following Nike’s inspiring public letter, other fashion labels quickly began to follow suit. In a message on the Kering Group’s (home of luxury brands like Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen) Twitter account, CEO François-Henri Pinault (aka Mr. Salma Hayek) proclaimed: “At a time when diversity is at stake, I want to reaffirm how crucial this value is to me and to Kering. Diversity of origin, opinion and belief is part of our identity and our success.”
A day later, in an Instagram post on the designer’s official account, Tory Burch posted a message stating that “Respect, civility, acceptance and inclusion are at the core of who we are and should be a given. Embracing all people of all nationalities is beautiful. #love is universal.”
Meanwhile, Prabal Gurung, the Singapore-born designer, made a personal plea for #NoHateNoFear. “I came to a country that opened its doors to me and allowed me to achieve my dreams. I know that country is still there, but we must work together to uncover these roots.”
Now, more than ever, we must come together as one. We must open our minds, our hearts and our doors. I am an immigrant, and we are all immigrants. We are a country founded on that very word. The recent policies that have been implemented are an injustice and we must continue to fight in unison with strength and integrity. I came to a country that opened its doors to me and allowed me to achieve my dreams. I know that country is still there, but we must work together to uncover these roots. For more information on how you can help fight the refugee ban, go to the ACLU at the link in our bio. #pgworld #NoBanNoWall #NoHateNoFear
Here’s hoping other designers use their platform to make similar statements.