Ronnie Fieg, the owner of the fashion label Kith, went on social media Tuesday to announce that his company would be taking a more proactive approach towards racial diversity and inclusion in the new year.
“[Seven] months ago, I made a statement. I said that I can do better and that we as a brand can do better,” Fieg wrote on his Instagram page. “Since then, we’ve gone to work. I always pictured Kith as a medium to bring my childhood dreams to life. What I’ve realized is that using the brand as a platform to create change is more important than anything I ever dreamed of accomplishing. I’ve worked on changing what we do as a company and added the responsibility of giving back to a culture that has constantly influenced and inspired me. Not just now, but indefinitely.”
His first initiative was to introduce Sharifa Murdock, co-founder of the menswear fashion and trade show Liberty Fairs, as his company’s new Chief of People. In that role, she will be in charge of the Kin Foundation, using Kith’s footprint in the service of disadvantaged children. Kith also entered into an agreement with the Black In Fashion Council (BIFC) that, going forward, at least 15% of the clothing sold by Kith will be by Black designers.
The company also plans to pay homage to Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic March on Washington by raising funds that will further the work of King’s oldest son to continue his father’s legacy in the present day. And, there will be more projects to honor “legacy artists who took part in shaping Black American culture,” starting with Kith’s contribution to the Christopher Wallace Foundation and partnering with the Notorious B.I.G.’s estate to address education.
Fieg concluded by making sure to name-check his senior staffers, Greg Betty and Marlon Beck, thanking them for their assistance with driving those initiatives for Kith, saying, “Having people of color in senior positions leading these projects has been key and will continue… Better in 2021.”