Maxwell Osborne Urges The Fashion Industry To Get Involved In Black Lives Matter

"I decided that I could no longer just sit on the sidelines."

For there to be a change in society, the entire community must get involved to help make it happen, not just a select few groups. The recent tragedies in Louisiana and in Minnesota, coupled with similar events in the past, are prompting people in the fashion industry to speak out about what needs to be done.

Model Ebonee Davis recently penned an open letter published in Harper's Bazaar about the need for more diversity in the fashion industry, and how the photos of her new Calvin Klein campaign are related to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Now, Pubic School co-founder and DKNY co-creative director, Maxwell Osborne, is speaking out.

Osborne wrote an open letter of his own, published in magazine, discussing why he stands with Black Lives Matter. In the letter, Osborne writes how he was inspired to attend his first protest at the age of 33 after being touched by the movement for a number of years, 

"As a designer, they’ve made me question what my role is in all of this, what can I do? I decided that I could no longer just sit on the sidelines."

Osborne participated in a peaceful protest and writes how he was impacted by all of the different people who came together for the cause. 

He is now encouraging the fashion industry to step up and get involved in the movement. He hopes that the industry will do more than simply carry on a conversation about race. Instead, he champions action.

"Stand with Black Lives Matter. Go out and educate yourself and learn how you can help and join the conversation as an active participant and not just as a passive, if well-meaning, observer."

"Encourage diversity on your runways and campaigns. Empower your social media fans to raise their voices. Use your designs for the public good. Attend a protest and see change in action. Raise awareness — it's not as empty a gesture as it may seem – and others will follow your lead."

Osborne cites how fashion in the past has helped with causes like breast cancer and HIV/AIDS. 

His message is a powerful one. He shows that designers may sometimes work in a fantasy world, but when they are inspired and involved in what is happening around them, they can help foster a positive change.

(H/T: Refinery29)