Daily protests have emerged all across the country following the killing of George Floyd on May 25 by former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. As the Black community and allies take to social media to demand justice for Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others who have lost their lives to state-sanctioned violence, many are beginning to look at large fashion brands who are heavily supported by the Black community and expecting them to take a stand.
When it comes to “influencing” culture, it is these brands, with hundreds of thousands to millions of followers and hugely diverse customer bases, with connections to individuals in high-power positions, that are among the few, outside of political officials and activists, that hold influence in times like these.
Many brands have fallen short, have been delayed on their messaging, or have altogether been silent regarding police brutality and the fight for basic human rights. Some have released generic, almost empty, statements, while others have spread awareness in a way that feels more authentic and promotes action.
This is a telling and powerful moment for the Black community. As responses to the call for solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement have trickled in, internet users have taken to social media to discuss where and where not to use their Black dollars and which corporations are seemingly not worth supporting anymore. The conversation has inspired people to share lists of Black-owned brands to support instead.
The argument of whether or not the community even needs a statement from these large corporations has been a debate. Silence, or only reacting after pressure from social media, is a stance of opposition in itself, some have argued. But still, the influence of these companies cannot be denied.
Ahead, here’s a look at how various fashion brands have addressed police brutality and racism against Black bodies.