Milan and New York, May 13th, 2021 – The Prada Group today announced a series of initiatives aimed at further deepening its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion within the Company and the fashion industry as a whole.
In an effort to increase representation within the industry, Prada Group has launched internship and mentorship programmes and has partnered with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to develop scholarships focused exclusively on aspiring fashion industry professionals and undergraduate students of colour in the United States and Africa. The Prada Group is working closely with UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, to develop an educational fashion module to promote gender equality in Africa, initially launching in Ghana and Kenya.
To elevate more emerging designers, the Group will collaborate with its Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Co-Chair, artist, social innovator, and Founder of Rebuild Foundation, Theaster Gates, to create a design lab for diverse designers and artists in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Taken together, these efforts reflect Prada’s comprehensive strategy that seeks to create a culture of inclusion. Also important to this strategy are ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion leadership trainings and workshops with key thought leaders.
“Prada Group is taking real and significant actions that will expand career and professional opportunities for people of colour in the fashion industry,” said Malika Savell, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer for Prada North America. “We recognise the barriers to entering the fashion industry and the importance of representation, so we want to develop many new programmes that will advance and mentor aspiring fashion professionals, while investing in the next generation of diverse talent.”
“We are extremely proud of these programmes, which reflect Prada Group’s commitment to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent and to creating an inclusive culture,” said Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group Head of Marketing and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility. “These initiatives mark real progress, and we look forward to building on this momentum to create more opportunities that increase diversity and representation both within Prada and in the fashion industry today and in the future.”
The programmes and initiatives announced today include:
- Generation Prada Internship: The Prada Group will launch a paid internship experience for diverse talent, providing hands-on opportunities across Prada Group’s corporate and retail teams. The Group will work with various organisations to attract and recruit a diverse set of applicants. This internship is designed to equip the next generation of leaders with professional development experiences and enhance the pipeline for diverse talent.
- Prada Group FIT Scholarships: In partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), an internationally recognised college for design, fashion, art, communications and business that is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system - the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States - Prada will offer a scholarship to a top-performing, diverse American student pursuing a fashion career. Prada will also offer a scholarship to a topperforming female student from Ghana or Kenya. Both scholarships will cover full tuition, as well as room and board for their respective AAS (Associate of Applied Science) and BA (Bachelor’s Degree) programme. The scholarship recipients will be mentored by industry leaders and have the opportunity to work at Prada Group. The first scholarships will be awarded for enrollment in fall 2021.
- Prada Group UNFPA Education Module: In partnership with the UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, Prada Group will develop an educational module for young women that uses fashion and design as a powerful tool to affect social change and promote gender equality. This module will be developed for and with young women in Kenya and Ghana to empower them socially and economically. The collaboration represents a unique opportunity to increase the social impact of the fashion industry for women and girls to create more inclusive and equal societies.
- Prada + Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab: Prada is partnering with Dorchester Industries, founded by Prada Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council Co-Chair Theaster Gates, to create a three-year Design Lab that will recruit and award talented designers of colour in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Each cohort will work on defined projects and the Design Lab will act as a space of exchange and training for future designers and creatives. Each year, the Prada Group will award a grant to an artist or designer to encourage their practice and allow them to launch a capsule of their choosing in the space.