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Diversity for the sake of diversity is evil. It is nothing but high tech tribalism. To consider race, sex, gender, or any other non-essential over merit should be banished from any rational businessman’s mind. With fashion designer Virgil Abloh’s latest foray into the world of wearable design, accusations have arisen claiming that Abloh’s company, Off-White, possesses a dearth of diverse faces.
As one of TIME magazine’s most influential people of 2018, Abloh has the most crucial power in his ability to attract and hold attention through his labor. The question of diversity aims to cheapen his luxury brand. It is not a net positive, from a purely business perspective, to employ otherwise incompetent workers based solely on their being transgender, or having brown skin. The onus ought to be on hiring the most talented, proficient staff to help grow the business.
What suggested, or even worse, forced diversity does is bar actually capable individuals from entering the job market. By saying that Abloh ought to sacrifice his talent, his work, his business to satisfy the diversity hounds would be an irrational outcry.
From Sole to Sole
But what does this mean? Should Abloh just pick up random people off of a New York City subway, regardless of their credentials, to work for him? Should he hire Palestinians, and white supremacists to even out the herd of potential employees?
Is it just the models who have color?
Abloh ought to not be chastised for his decision making process. He ought to be empowered to hire whomever he thinks is going to fulfill the tasks of helping to sustain a million-dollar company. It should not be left up to the screamers who shriek that there are not enough black faces, or that there remain little traces of red, brown, and yellow faces in his company. Who cares?
A white woman... Is that offensive?
As long as those white people remain up to the work of growing the business, why should Abloh consider skin color over brainpower? An all white staff full of thoughtful, energetic, rational individuals may be what Abloh is only considering at the moment. The fact that his team is either all or mostly white should compel other labels to select candidates that suit their own personal preferences. It is only by careful consideration, possibly, that Abloh choose his members.
Maybe the colorism is the problem.
His choices reflect the amount effort that that his employees will exert. This is not to say that black or any other color would be incapable of performing.
A Bag Full of Off-White
It is a nod to Abloh’s ingenuity to take on the responsibility of hiring whomever he wants. But to lambaste him for having few, or no faces with higher concentrations of melanin, demonstrates the ugly side of society. It is a side that would put down a businessman like Abloh, and rise up the incompetent, the slothful, the lazy. If Abloh suddenly fired all of his white staff to hire black workers who may not know the difference between a flip flop and a halter top, would that satisfy all of those who wave the banner for artificial diversity?
Graphics teams and art directors just may happen to be white. Let that be a fact of reality. Until men and women of color earn their way into these positions, may the qualified, may they be white men and women, be chosen.
Females have a presence at Off-White.
To pester Abloh into making executive decisions that stand and relate directly to his company is abominable. The crew that he has assembled apparently handles business well, otherwise, Off-White would be faltering instead of booming. For every dagger of diversity for its own sake, Abloh should have the shield of independence to guide him in making whatever color he wants of his business.