In May, after the death of George Floyd while in police custody, activists poured into the streets with demands for racial justice and police reform. That multiethnic chorus expanded into a call for equity in every corner of the culture, from politics to fashion. In response, social media was quickly flooded with fashion companies, influencers and boldface names touting their support of Black Lives Matter with symbolic black squares and historical quotations about racial equality. The words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and James Baldwin were in heavy rotation. But like a litany of “thoughts and prayers,” the brief messages resonated as perfunctory rather than instructive.
“A lot of people posted on Instagram, ‘We stand in solidarity.’ What does that even mean?” says designer Tom Ford, who serves as chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. This is not the first time outrage has overflowed its