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Rubric Initiative, a campaign to support BAME people in fashion, launches

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As well as supporting paid internship and apprenticeship programmes, the project is offering 1-to-1 mentoring with the likes of Virgil Abloh, Kim Jones, Munroe Bergdorf, and more

Today (November 23) marks the launch of the Rubric Initiative, an organisation dedicated to supporting BAME people in fashion by addressing the industry’s barriers to entry. Working with the likes of Virgil Abloh, Kim Jones, Munroe Bergdorf, and more, the venture will support paid internship and apprenticeship programmes, as well as providing mentoring for people of colour.

“Fashion is a historically homogenous industry,” the Rubric Initiative’s website reads, “but we believe that the different perspectives introduced by different experiences only enhance the creative conversation. In 2020, people from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic backgrounds remain disproportionately underrepresented in our arena. To make a change, we need to speak to a new generation – those for whom the fashion industry often appears impenetrable.”

The Rubric Initiative has partnered with Mentoring Matters to offer six-month, one-to-one mentorships with members of the campaign’s community. As well as those mentioned above, this includes Samuel Ross, Campbell Addy, Brianna Capozzi, Hanna Moon, Joshua Woods, Katie Grand, Martine Rose, Raven Smith, Richard Malone, Supriya Lele, Adesuwa Aighewi, Vaquera, Alton Mason, and more.

Mentoring Matters is a newly-established programme, set up for candidates from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to “redress the balance of equality and opportunity within the creative industries”.

As well as one-to-one mentoring, the Rubric Initiative is offering portfolio reviews, writing workshops, and group seminars, which will be taught both virtually and physically (once COVID allows) – these will be available to mentees and Rubric Initiative students. It’s also offering financial support to those in need by way of paid internships, apprenticeship programmes, and offering or sponsoring studio space and equipment usage for students.

“We believe that intergenerational support is the foundation for change,” said Rubric Initiative, “and that direct channels of communication are of paramount importance. We know that having someone with experience on your side can make the world of difference.”

“The financial pressures and racial disparities that exist within an industry with a high barrier to entry need to be addressed,” the venture concluded. “Without making an active effort to encourage and support those who have long been marginalised, the status quo will remain the same. It’s time for change.”

Find out more about the Rubric Initiative here.