Due to the recent deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor, there has been a magnifying glass on industries across the board and what they’re doing to support the Black customers and employees that represent these corporations.
In the fashion industry, many brands have shown their support and while their sudden alignment may be questionable, more and more Black talent is getting hired. But, before there was this now larger-than-life attention on everything Black, it’s important to note particular thought leaders who have spearheaded such movements. “I was inspired to make the “HIRE BLACK” T-shirts because I was completely fed up with black creatives‘ hard work and ideas being stolen by our white counterparts and them not just hiring us for the jobs,” exclaimed celebrity stylist and ESSENCE staff alum CL White.
“Don’t just use our ideas and cut us out, hire us and give us our credit.” – CL White
White, who most recently was the mastermind behind POSE FX star Dominique Jackson’s Marie-Claire feature, has recently launched a t-shirt with the words “HIRE BLACK,” on the front. Speaking to the entertainment industry as a whole to hire more Black talent. “I hope my Hire Black shirts remind everyone to show up and support Black creatives across the board,” White concluded.
ESSENCE got a chance to chat with the stylist about the meaning behind his latest project.
ESSENCE: What inspired you to make the “HIRE BLACK” T-shirts?
There are thousands of talented Black creatives being overlooked because of the color of our skin and not receiving credit for the work we produce. It has been decades of this going on in all creative spaces and I had enough. I wanted to create a T-shirt that said LOUD and PROUD “HIRE BLACK”. Don’t just use our ideas and cut us out, hire us and give us our credit.
ESSENCE: How important is it to you that the Black voice is heard?
Making sure that the Black voice is heard is very important to me because I am Black, I am a Black man, I am a Black creative and I am 1 of many Black advocates for other Black creatives within my circle and community. We as Black creatives do most, if not all, of the work when it comes to working in our professions and we are either purloined from and/or not given the proper credit. It has to stop
ESSENCE: What would you say is the hardest part about being a Black stylist?
The hardest part about being a Black stylist to me is being thought of as one-dimensional; they think Black stylists can only style Black talent. To make matters worse we are treated with less respect when it comes to pulling clothes from PR firms, designers and showrooms for our Black clients and that we rarely receive full credit for the work that we contribute to the fashion industry. It’s really sad because we have blueprinted fashion and we deserve better.
Shop the “HIRE BLACK” tee here.