Choosing to pursue a career in fashion often comes with a lot of preconceived ideas. Devil Wears Prada aside, historically, people who work in this industry have been stereotyped as shallow or materialistic. In fact, I personally will never forget when a former friend patronisingly disregarded my knowledge on a subject by saying, “It’s not the kind of thing you’d read in Cosmo, sweetie.”
Much to the contrary, in recent years, I have found myself in awe of the eloquence and intelligence of people who work in this industry, many of whom use their extensive platforms to bring about change, particularly when it comes to issues that go way beyond fashion.
Initially, Instagram was predominantly used as a platform for outfit inspiration and to attain a glimpse into the lives of influencers and celebrities. But it has evolved to become a place to share news, information, and even bring awareness to important causes and issues. You can seek out resources on anti-racism and sustainability as well as mental health awareness and more.
With this in mind, I’ve decided to compile a list of women in fashion who influence us far beyond trends or clothing. From Adwoa Aboah highlighting mental health awareness to designer Aurora James and her fight for economic equality with the creation of the Fifteen Percent Pledge for Black-owned businesses, here are just a few fashion-industry figures who are using their platforms for positive change.