Chanel introduces head of diversity & inclusion role
At a time when fashion labels often have to face controversy on issues of cultural appropriation, racism and sexism, Chanel has appointed Fiona Pargeter to the newly created post of global head of diversity and inclusion, according to Business of Fashion.
According to Pargeter’s LinkedIn profile, she joined Chanel in July. Previously, Pargeter worked for nearly five years in London as EMEA head of diversity and inclusion at Swiss bank UBS, which she joined in 1999 for an internship after an MSc degree in Occupational Psychology from the University of Surrey.
“Diversity and inclusion are areas which, in the last few years, have been supervised by our head of sustainability engagement and communication within the HR and organisation department. Fiona Pargeter joined Chanel as head of diversity and inclusion in order to develop our existing approach and continue to bolster our efforts on these subjects,” said Chanel to FashionNetwork.com.
Chanel, whose corporate headquarters have been based in London since 2017, is in the process of finding new bearings after the death of its creative director of 35 years, Karl Lagerfeld, who passed away last February. Lagerfeld’s successor, Virginie Viard, showed her second, highly praised collection in early July at the Paris Haute Couture week, while the luxury label recently published very satisfactory annual results.
In 2018, the independent label founded in 1910 by Gabrielle Chanel posted a 10.5% revenue rise, reaching $11.12 billion (€9.91 billion). Operating income rose by 8% to $2.99 billion (€2.67 billion), equivalent to a 26.9% margin.
Chanel isn’t the first luxury label to take action in the field of inclusivity. Hit by a social media storm after putting on sale a sweater with a design similar to a ‘blackface’, in March 2019 Gucci announced an investment of over $10 million to launch the ‘Gucci Changemakers’ programme, whose goal is “to mark a significant turning point in the world of fashion, strengthening the latter’s social impact and its relationship with local communities.” At the start of 2019, Prada announced the creation of a consulting committee on diversity and inclusion.
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