Whether it’s racial or gender bias, equal rights, or body shaming, brands have been under the microscope when it comes to the statements they make through their products. I outlined in a recent article a few of the more shocking missteps made by Macy’s (NYSE: M), H&M (SS:HMB), Burberry (BRBY.L), Prada (HK: PRADA) and others in the past few months.
As I mentioned, these mistakes were a direct result of ignorance and carelessness on the part of these retailers and brands, and of neglecting to test the products before launch. While the perpetrators, likely thanks to their savvy PR and marketing teams, quickly apologized and promised to do better, the continued, steady occurrence of these blunders points to an extreme disconnect between retailers, brands, and the customers they serve.
Not surprisingly, we are simultaneously seeing the rise of the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. GQ recently called out this trend as the “hottest new role in fashion,” and notes that even if it may be reactionary, “the fact the industry’s biggest players are willing to learn from their mistakes and restructure policies and practices accordingly can only be a positive thing.”