In October, Ryerson University organized a panel focusing on promoting diversity in fashion design and marketing called Diversity Now. It was led by Ryerson professor Dr. Ben Barry, Cambridge University alumus, and champion of greater diversity in fashion. Ryerson flew in many esteemed speakers including Sharon Haywood from the Dove Self-Esteem Project, Valerie from Idiosyncratic Fashionistas, Bruce Sturgell from Chubstr, and my good friend Marie Denee from The Curvy Fashionista. It was a great panel discussion that shed light on a lot of issues within the fashion industry generally. It was great to see a university that teaches fashion design and marketing actually address the issue of the lack of options and representation outside of the mainstream. It’s so important to inform the students who are coming through these programs of the gaps in what’s available and the advertising being presented to us as consumers.
The whole panel – from left to right – Ben Barry, Sharon Haywood, Marie Denee, Valerie, and Bruce Sturgell.