The footwear industry has a diversity problem.
It’s a fact that has been privately lamented for years but has recently catapulted into the public conversation.
And last month, when FN published its list of under-40 executives and designers, the severity of the problem was glaringly evident, even among the next generation of leaders — and shoe people took notice.
On Twitter, Instagram and in private messages, individuals expressed their disappointment with FN’s reporting, and more specifically with an industry that is failing to recognize and support its minority employees.
“Inclusion is a very real problem for all black professionals and entrepreneurs, especially those under 40 [because] this is the talent that needs to be celebrated, nurtured and pushed to not just change the footwear industry but the world,” James Whitner, owner of the Social Status retail chain, wrote on Instagram. “Blatantly ignoring our talent, work ethic, business skills and overall ability is what allows divisiveness, discrimination and blatant racism to exist.”
Read more here.