Virtual fashion event featuring Sheffield-based agency to highlight importance of diversity and inclusion

Talented fashion designers from across the industry – including a Sheffield-based agency – are joining together to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion at a virtual panel event.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 3:55 pm

Online platform New Talent Fashion is hosting An Evening with NTF: Diversity and inclusivity within the fashion industry - a path for change.

The event, which forms part of a series, will involve industry-expert guests sharing their views on the organisations currently creating room for change and how the industry can expand further, and discussing what educational bodies are doing to help and what more needs to be achieved.

Laura Johnson, one of the panellists and director at Zebedee - a Sheffield-based specialist talent agents supplying models and actors worldwide - said: "Diversity in the fashion industry is so important that I have dedicated my career to it.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Speakers at include: Nishy Lall, non-executive director of Flourish in Diversity and head of young people at Sky; Laura Johnson, director at Zebedee; Natasha Clarke, artist and project leader at Black Leadership & Representation; and Sonal Sohal, mentoring officer at the University of Westminster.

“Diverse people need to see themselves represented in the industry. Change in the industry will bring inclusion, acceptance and a brand new wave of diverse talent."

Doncaster-based artist and project leader for Black Leadership & Representation, Natasha Clarke - who is also speaking at the event - added: "Creating inclusive representation allows for a more inviting environment for marginalised groups to be involved in.

“For me, it’s vital to have more black representation in leadership roles too. In order to work towards eradicating systemic racism, not only in society but also in creative industries, the core infrastructures of these systems need to be shaken - black, ethnic minority and marginalised groups should have positions of power to create change from the inside out.

“My work aims to address these inequalities, identify barriers and provide solutions."

New Talent Fashion is partnering with Flourish in Diversity for the event, donating to their A New Model for the Fashion Industry campaign, which aims to give school leavers interested in a fashion career the opportunity to take part in a six-week paid summer training programme, whilst improving diversity and sustainability within the fashion industry.

Nishy Lall, non-executive director of Flourish in Diversity and head of young people at Sky, said: “As a London College of Fashion alumni, I had intended to embark on a career within the fashion industry. However, not seeing myself represented within the sector as a British Asian meant I did not find the support needed to pursue that career path.

"My lived experience and commitment to create opportunities no matter what your background is a huge part of my role at Flourish in Diversity.”

Sonal Sohal, mentoring officer at the University of Westminster, will share her personal story at the event.

She added: “When I took my first role in fashion, it became very apparent to me that there were not many people that I could identify with, and I quickly realised that I would need to make my personality my weapon.

“Although the fashion industry is very international and diverse, in the UK I have found the roles within design and buying were not."

The event will take place via Zoom, at 7 pm, on July 21.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite.