Prada has invited artist and activist Theaster Gates and writer, director and producer Ava DuVernay to join the company’s new Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, which aims to bring prominent academic and cultural experts together to “elevate voices of color within the company and the fashion industry at large”.
Prada intends for the Council to partner with universities and organizations to develop internship and apprenticeship incentives in diverse communities, so that the “inclusion gap” in the fashion industry is closed. “We will help ensure that the fashion world is reflective of the world in which we live”, said the label’s Chief Executive Officer and Lead Creative Director, Miuccia Prada, in a statement. The Italian fashion house will also sponsor scholarships and training programs in the United States and Prada offices worldwide.
Gates is best known for referencing African-American identity and the struggle for civil rights in his works, as well as for defending the revitalization of poor neighborhoods through urban planning and art practices. “My work amplifies the voices that have been absent from broad cultural conversations, and I am happy to partner with Prada”, said the artist.
Ava DuVernay is the highest-grossing African-American female director in the US box office history. She is the director of Oscar-winning film “Selma” and Oscar-nominated criminal justice documentary 13th, as well as Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time”.