February 22, 2017
Kering’s Gucci is enhancing its values of inclusion and diversity by becoming a Parks – Liberi e Uguali member.
Parks – Liberi e Uguali, "free and equal" in English, is an Italian nonprofit organization that concentrates on supporting companies looking to embrace diversity, with a specific focus on sexual orientation and gender identity. Gucci is the first luxury fashion brand to become a Parks member, but many more are likely to follow suit, especially from within the Kering stable.
Established in 2010, Parks works with brands to help build a culture of inclusion and respect for diverse peoples. Part of Gucci’s sustainable business model, Parks will help the fashion house implement efforts that create a culture that recognizes talent and values individuals.
To do so, Parks will assist Gucci in developing a workplace that capitalizes on differences and encourages inclusion. Embracing this notion, presents Gucci with an enormous opportunity and a competitive business advantage.
Luxury brands have increased these types of socially driven corporate initiatives to cull qualified talent by creating workplace culture that today’s generation of workers will want to be a part of (see story).
“We are extremely proud to join Parks, and we could not identify a better moment to start the partnership with this inspiring organization,” said Marco Bizzarri, president and CEO of Gucci, in a statement. “In the past two years, we have implemented a complete turnaround of our company, following our mantra of being the voice of self-expression.
“Attracting, retaining and promoting talent, while celebrating ethnic, age, sexual and gender diversity, sexual orientation and gender identity across the company, is our mission,” he continued. “Which is completely consistent with the vision of parent company, Kering.”
Gucci spring/summer 2017
Now that Gucci has become a Parks member, the nonprofit will work with the label on a series of tailor-made activities to facilitate a culture of inclusion and respect. Activities include education and training, external and internal communications and advice on pay policy and benefits that align with the needs of the LGBTQ workforce.
“We are delighted that Gucci has joined Parks,” said Igor Suran, executive director of Parks. “It is a significant move that shows a commendable commitment to creating a genuinely contemporary inclusive working environment, also for their LGBT colleagues.”
Gucci gave consumers a first look at its pre-fall 2017 campaign by opening the curtain on its casting process in a series of nine Instagram films. Auditioning from London, all of the models in the series were black.
The fashion industry is frequently criticized for its lack of diversity, both on the runway and in advertising. According to research from The Fashion Spot, 23.3 percent of those cast in fall 2016 ad campaigns were women of color, up slightly from the previous season (see story).