The last few months have brought a flurry of emotions as the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery became some of the latest in a dreadfully long list of Black lives lost to police brutality and white supremacy.
For the Black community, the fight against systemic racism is a year-round battle year after year. But following recent events, the Black Lives Matter movement has found its way on the radar of fashion brands as well. Many have begun looking to the movement to inspire their own efforts to speak out against injustices and influence change. As brands react, or don’t react, consumers are reassessing their support of these companies. Some brands have gone beyond verbal acknowledgments, offering monetary donations to various foundations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Fashion Nova has pledged $1 million for “community resources and activism, awareness campaigns and other initiatives to help in the fight for racial equality and opportunity.” PrettyLittleThing has also shown solidarity, promising to donate 100 percent of proceeds from their recent collection launch with musician, Saweetie, to Black Lives Matter.
As many look to smaller, Black-owned clothing brands to shop, these brands are too pledging to donate to move the needle forward. Jerry Lorenzo, the designer of Fear of God, an independently Black-owned streetwear brand, shared his encounter with the news of George Floyd’s death on Instagram: “Being a father, my first thought was ‘I pray this man doesn’t have any kids,’” he said.
On Thursday, Fear of God announced the launch of their ‘GF’ T-shirt in support of George Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna Floyd, garnering support for the project from other minority-owned brands including Union Los Angeles, Noah NYC, Off-White, Awake, Just Don, Denim Tears, Pyer Moss and Melody Ehsani.