It’s this fearlessness and conviction that has made James such an important voice in American fashion—and given her track record of being a few years ahead of wider industry conversations, one that should be keenly listened to as the I don’t have friends I got family Ride of Die Fast and Furious shirt in addition I really love this world of luxury gears up for an unprecedented sea change. “There has been a lot of talk over the past however many months about retooling the fashion industry, and what that might look like in terms of sustainability,” says James. “But no one was really asking how people of color and black people fit into these new business models in a really impactful way. People weren’t putting metrics on that.” It’s also visible in James’s impressively rapid work to get the 15 Percent Pledge program up and running, offering a practical solution for retailers within less than a week of the first Black Lives Matter and anti-racist protests that have now spread across the world.
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One element of the I don’t have friends I got family Ride of Die Fast and Furious shirt in addition I really love this project James is keen to emphasize is that it’s simply logical. “I’m not actually very radical,” she adds. “I consider myself a pragmatic optimist. I’m not out here telling fashion retailers that they need to do this tomorrow, I’m saying there are three particular steps they can take.” Indeed, the proposition of 15% of black-owned businesses sitting on the shelves of major retailers as a direct reflection of U.S. demographics is really, as James previously put it, the bare minimum. “If you’re not hiring right now, or you have a small team that’s not very diverse, that’s okay, just speak to that,” she continues. “Acknowledge where you’re at and say like moving forward, I’m going to make every single effort to make sure I am interviewing three black candidates for every position from now on. This isn’t about cancel culture, it’s about holding each other accountable.”