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McDonald's Is Venturing Into an Unlikely Industry With a New Diversity Initiative The fast-food giant is addressing the lack of Black designers in the fashion industry, where Black creatives make up just over 7% of designers — despite having set trends for decades.

By Carl Stoffers Edited by Jessica Thomas

Key Takeaways

  • The initiative targets the significant underrepresentation of Black designers in the fashion industry.
  • McDonald's will provide mentorship, resources and financial aid to elevate the careers of Black fashion designers.
  • The year-long initiative will culminate in a capsule clothing collection.

In an unexpected move, McDonald's has launched a program to combat Black underrepresentation — but not in the food industry. With "Black and Positively Golden Change of Fashion," the brand aims to support Black fashion designers through mentorship, resources and financial aid.

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Black creatives make up just 7.3% of designers in the fashion industry despite having set trends for decades. McDonald's aims to drive industry-wide change by pairing five emerging Black designers with five Black industry experts for a year-long mentorship that culminates in launching a capsule collection.

The company and its owner/operators will grant the designers $200,000 in total funds and provide mentorship sessions, access to master classes and more. The designers will also appear in a national TV commercial alongside their mentors, including author and television host Elaine Welteroth, Matte Collection CEO Justina McKee, retail executive Shawn Howell, Laquan Smith COO Jacqueline Cooper and McMullen Founder & CEO Sherri McMullen.

"The Change of Fashion program builds on our legacy of investing in and supporting the diverse communities we serve, pushing new boundaries to inspire real change for our designers and the fashion industry at large," Tariq Hassan, McDonald's chief marketing and customer experience officer, said in a statement.

The selected designers are Durrell Dupard, founder of Freddie Estelle; Shareef Mosby, CEO of VICTIM15; Larissa Muehleder, founder of Muehleder; Heart Roberts, founder of HEARTHROB; and Nia Thomas, founder of Nia Thomas.

Read More: Ebony

Carl Stoffers

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Business Editor

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