The SheHawk: Inclusion is the new black


Genevieve Guenther

Jimmy O'Halloran, Contributing Writer

Fashion is everywhere. The hottest looks and the newest trends are omnipresent, from our social media timelines to our television screens. The ads on my Instagram for the latest sunnies or the current jean sales are never-ending. The clamor that comes with the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show or New York Fashion week seems inescapable no matter what kind of social circle you’re in.

Apparel companies are always trying new ideas for commercials to ‘wow’ consumers. In this whirlwind of exposure, the good news is that fashion is becoming more inclusive. It seems clothing companies and their executives have realized that diversity and inclusion in fashion is sexy.

To those companies, I say congratulations. To the regressive, misogynistic, and simple-minded executives such as Karl Lagerfeld, former head of fashion house Chanel, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Lagerfeld passed on Feb. 19, 2019, in Paris and subsequent condolences reverberated from Hollywood. High caliber stars such as Rihanna, Naomi Campbell, the Hadid family, and the Beckham family publicly mourned the loss to the fashion community.

I get it – Karl Lagerfeld was a massive contributor to high fashion and was perceived as an elite creative mind. That’s all great. It’s no surprise celebrities would mourn him, since their red carpet Chanel ensemble was probably free of charge. For the rest of us, ignoring Lagerfeld’s jaded comments and general attitude towards women is completely backwards.

He deserves all the shame coming to him and his legacy as news outlets uncover his regressive views and comments. Comments like Adele is “a little too fat” and that he was “fed up” with the #MeToo movement show just how carelessly he tossed around disrespect (I’ll never tolerate negativity about Adele, no matter who it’s coming from).

To put it succinctly, Lagerfeld’s attitude and opinions about women in fashion fall totally in line with everything that is wrong with the industry. They flew completely in the face of efforts by brands from Target to Lane Bryant and even the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazine. Large brands like these are helping prove that dismantling artificial beauty standards is not a fringe movement.

Beauty, confidence, and fashion should be accessible to all. These values aren’t just for the elite and the conventional. Leaders in all avenues of fashion and apparel have a responsibility to keep a respectful tone and do their part in making the world of fashion a better and easier place in which to live.

For the rest of us, the consumers of this world, it’s our job to support what’s moving us forward and leave the rest on the rack.