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Creatives Urge Fashion Industry to Condemn Anti-Semitism

November 8, 2023  |  Anthony DeMarco
Nicky Hilton Rothschild 1280 USED 081123

More than 1,000 members of the fashion and beauty industries, including some of its biggest names, have signed an open letter urging the trade to take a strong stand against rising anti-Semitism and racism.

Those who supported the initiative represent a wide array of creative professionals from around the world: writers, designers, publicists, agents, influencers, casting directors, hair and makeup artists, buyers, chief marketing officers, chief executive officers, and other industry leaders.

Some of the bigger names on the list are fashion designers Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Donna Karan, Christopher Kane and Rachel Zoe; models Bar Refaeli, Daisy Lowe and Erin O’Connor; cosmetics entrepreneur Bobbi Brown; and British Fashion Council CEO Caroline Rush.

Signatories from the jewelry industry include Eddie Levian, CEO of the Le Vian brand, and designer Dana Levy.

“Anti-Semitism, in any form, has no place in our society, let alone within an industry that prides itself on creativity and acceptance,” the letter reads. “Fashion companies and organizations should implement regular mandatory diversity and sensitivity training for all employees, from designers to executives, ensuring a deeper understanding of different cultures and religions, including Judaism.”

Furthermore, it continues, “transparency is crucial in combating anti-Semitism and all forms of racism. Fashion companies should denounce any acts of anti-Semitism and take swift and decisive action against individuals or brands that perpetuate such behavior.”

Deborah Lyons, creative director of Maison Lyons, coordinated the open letter. “Fashion has always had the power to celebrate diversity and inclusivity, but it is disheartening to witness acts of discrimination and anti-Semitism within our industry,” she said. “We must take a stand.”

Since the war between Israel and Hamas began on October 7, countries with Jewish communities have seen a surge in the number of recorded anti-Semitic incidents.

The US saw a 388% increase in attacks against the Jewish community from October 7 to 23, according to anti-Semitism watchdog the Anti-Defamation League.

Meanwhile, the UK’s Community Security Trust noted at least 805 anti-Semitic occurrences between October 7 and 27, compared with 102 during the same period in 2022. Security has been increased around Jewish-owned businesses, kosher restaurants and Jewish schools.

Lyons relayed her own experience with receiving anti-Semitic messages: “Within three days of the October 7 terror attack, I lost 1,000 followers because I posted about releasing hostages and calling for peace. But it did not stop there. I have received messages saying I should go back to Germany and be killed. I, like so many people in the Jewish community, know people in Israel affected by the Hamas attack, including people who have had to leave their homes because of rocket attacks, or whole families that have been wiped out. It’s heartbreaking.”

Main image: Nicky Hilton Rothschild. (Shutterstock)

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Nicky Hilton Rothschild 1280 USED 081123 Creatives Urge Fashion Industry to Condemn Anti-Semitism

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