How the Fashion Industry is Responding to Asian American Hate Crimes
On March 16, 2021 eight people were killed in an Atlanta- area massage parlor shooting. Six of the eight people killed were women of Asian American descent, of the other victims killed, one was a Caucasian woman, and a Caucasian man. Due to the coronavirus pandemic there has been a rise in Asian American hate crimes
With hate crimes against the AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) community on the rise, the fashion industry is using their platform to be actively anti-racist.
One designer to respond with her own personal experience was Vera Wang. She stated on her Instagram, “As a Chinese American woman and more significantly, a human being, I feel compelled to speak up and about the mounting hatred of Asians in American communities. The moment is now to end the mistreatment and cruelty that has long existed. And complacency, ignorance and fear should no longer be justifiable excuses for racism or hatred. Immediate action is required and silence is not an option. We all need to support one another in our global struggle to save humanity regardless of color and ethnic background.”
Designers are not the only ones in the fashion community speaking out. Michelle Lee, Editor-in Chief at Allure took to Instagram to share her opinion on the rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community.
She stated in a video posted to her Instagram page that hate crimes against Asian Americans were up by 1900% in New York during the pandemic. Lee also spoke about her personal experience being bullied as an Asian American when she was a child in school.
Not only are well-known influencers in the fashion sphere speaking out, but big and small brands alike are donating to organizations that support the AAPI community.
Madewell and J.Crew are making a donation of $50,000 to AAPI Women Lead. And Haerfest, which was founded by two Korean Americans, are donating proceeds made by selling their “Nothing changes if nothing changes” t-shirts to Stop AAPI Hate.
In addition to fashion brands donating to this cause, Ruba Abu-Nima, creative director at Tiffany and Co. has teamed up with New York based fashion designer Phillip Lim to create a key chain stating, “Stop Asian Hate” in efforts with #NewYorkTougherThanEver initiative.
You do not have to be a well-known fashion designer or own a big company to support the AAPI community. Here are some things what you can do to support the AAPI community. Support Asian- American owned restaurants, local businesses and fashion brands and designers. Educate yourself in the topic of AAPI hate crimes and be an active ally, stay informed with current events, report any crimes you’ve witnessed to https://stopaapihate.org/ , donate to AAPI organizations if you have the means to like, The Asian American Advocacy Fund, https://www.asianamericanadvocacyfund.org/ , and most importantly, lend an empathetic ear when you can.