The fashion industry is taking a stand against racism amid the ongoing violent and hateful crimes committed against Asian Americans.
Recent attacks on elderly Asian Americans has sparked a national dialogue surrounding anti-Asian rhetoric. While it is not immediately clear what is fueling these attacks, reports of hate and violence against Asians have risen amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The string of attacks became increasingly concerning after an 84-year old man from Thailand died in January after being attacked on his morning walk in San Francisco and just days later a 91-year-old woman was pushed to the ground in Oakland’s Chinatown, CNN reported.
As the aftershock sets in, protests have erupted, with many Asian Americans asking for people to band together and “fight the virus, not the people.”
As a result, companies and fashion industry insiders are taking a definitive stand. Keep reading below to read what they are saying.
From his personal account, Phillip Lim encouraged his followers to stand with him and #StopAsianHate. He shared a video of himself, expressing how difficult its been for him to process the recent attacks.
“I sit here feeling somewhat helpless, invisible and semi-defeated because our Asian stories are not being reported in mainstream media,” Lim said in the clip. Along with the video, Lim provided ways for people to help, which include: combatting lies and stereotypes, checkin in on Asian friends, peers and colleagues and donating to charitable causes.
The fashion journalist also took to social media to raise awareness. Lau shared a flyer that read: “Since COVID-19, anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 1900% in the United States. Nearly 3,000 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents were reported in over 47 states and the District of Columbia.”
In her caption, Lau expressed: “And here come the facts… And beyond these frightening stats are unreported crimes, no retort taunts and helplessness on the part of those that can’t articulate their hurt… Please lend your support by sharing your own personal stories or repost this graphic with #StopAsianHate.”
Monse founders Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia have also taken action. The two shared an Instagram video speaking out about the attacks, asking their followers to raise awareness.
“Racism and hate crimes against the Asian community in the U.S. have increased exponentially in the last year. It has been heartbreaking to learn about all the attacks happening across the country and hearing stories of anti-Asian racism from our friends and family. We urge you to stand with us to #StopAsianHate. Spread awareness by speaking up on social media and having conversations with those around you,” read the post’s caption.
The fashion blogger spoke out about her own experiences, sharing on Instagram: “These anti-Asian hate crimes and breaking my heart and not enough is being done about them.”
“Not enough noise is being made. I may not talk about my own experiences often, but the racism — casual or overt — I’ve encountered is very, very real. Growing up in Hong Kong, I was lucky enough ( (lucky enough? What am I saying?? How crazy to be saying that!) to be shielded from any anti-Asian sentiment. It was only when I started traveling on my own that I saw and felt how I looked to others. Please join us in spreading the word to #StopAsianHate.”
The fashion influencer and former editor echoed similar sentiments, sharing a video alongside the caption: “Growing up it was normal for me to hear “Go Back To China” or “chink” or “gook”…fast forward 20 years later this is our current reality once again. Asians are being attacked and no one is covering it on mainstream media. We need to stop this now! We need to speak up now! Please share this video to get the word out of what’s happening to Asians. It’s only going to get worse unless we all speak up against racism. We are not your model minority and we need to #STOPASIANHATE now.”
Allure’s editor-in-chief also asked her followers to take a stand. “Hi everyone, I’m asking for your help to #StopAsianHate,” she wrote on Instagram. “Just in the past six weeks, 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee was killed in SF, a 91-year-old man was shoved to the ground in Oakland’s Chinatown, a Filipino man was slashed on the subway in NYC, and the list goes on. The story that still haunts me happened back in March when a Texas man stabbed a family (including a 2-year-old) because he thought they were Chinese and were infecting people with the coronavirus.
“We need your help to speak out, amplify our message, and put a stop to the divisive anti-Asian rhetoric out there. And remember, this is a time for unity— not a time for us to turn against one another. If you’re trying to fight racism with more racism, we’re all going to lose. Please read the resources on the last 2 slides for more info on how to help. And help us spread the message using #StopAsianHate.”
The Instagram account, which is run by Tony Liu, shared: “From the murder of George Floyd and many other Black lives, to the anti-Asian racism and xenophobia that spread amid COVID-19 and Trump’s hateful rhetoric, to be a POC in the US was, and still is, to be perpetually on edge. With the recent attacks on the Asian community, we need to remember that we all have the same goal in becoming anti-racist and dismantling white supremacy.”
“As an Asian person who has simultaneously felt invisible and benefited from a proximity to whiteness, I’ve often felt like any issues pertaining to my community had to take a backseat to everything else happening in the world. I hope we make some space now to talk about this though, and realize that no conversation needs to come at the expense of another… the fight includes all BIPOC. What can we do? Start by support organizations that have long been on the ground doing the necessary work to giving POC the resources they need to thrive. We need more community-based solutions for the long-term, not just when there are violent attacks.”
From his personal account, Prabal Gurung urged his followers to be anti-racist.
“To build an equitable world, we have to be actively anti-racist,” Gurung wrote on Instagram alongside a series of informational flyers. “And anti-racism is not a hashtag but a life long commitment. It starts with dialogues, conversations, education, unlearning and learning with our friends, families, neighbors, peers, coworkers to build a community that shows up and fights injustice for every marginalized group. It starts with holding our own accountable for their silence and apathy.”
On Feb. 19, the sportswear giant shared in statement, expressing that the brand stands united with the Asian community. “Our hearts are with our Asian community. We stand united with our partners to creative a more inclusive future,” Nike tweeted.
Alongside the tweet, the brand shared a video with a message that shares: “To our Asian community, we respect you. We are with you. Nike condemns racism.”
Our hearts are with our Asian community. We stand united with our partners to create a more inclusive future.
— Nike (@Nike) February 19, 2021
The footwear company echoed similar sentiments as Nike, sharing on Twitter: “Community Over Everything.” “Jordan Brand stands united with our Asian community.”
Community Over Everything.
Jordan Brand stands united with our Asian community.
Learn more about how we are working with our partners to create a more inclusive future. #StopAsianHate
— Jordan (@Jumpman23) February 20, 2021
On Feb. 22, Under Armour’s CEO Patrik Frisk released a statement on behalf of the brand, expressing: “At Under Armour We Stand for Equality.”
Frisk explained: “Meaning, we condemn racism and hate in all forms. This value has become more important than ever, as we’ve witnesses the real unacceptable spread of racism, and worldwide xenophobia, coming in the wake of the global pandemic. No one should have to endure hate. We stand with, and in support of our Asian and Pacific Islander teammates, athletes, and community.”
— Under Armour (@UnderArmour) February 22, 2021
Columbia is the latest brand to speak out, sharing a statement on Instagram that condemns the racism experienced by Asian Americans. “Columbia Sportswear Company condemns the alarming number of attacks on US citizens of Asian descent. Since last year, there has been a stunning increase in assaults on Asian-Americans. Compounding that is the sickening fact that many of these incidents involve elderly people.”
“We’re an outdoor company. We make products so that people can enjoy the outdoors in comfort. It is unacceptable that some people cannot go outdoors and feel sale due to their race and ethnicity. We stand with Asian-Americans and will not accept an America where bigotry and ignorance combine to make it dangerous for Asian-Americans to live their lives.”