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“The only time that people from fashion come together is at fashion shows or fashion parties, but in terms of having a real dialog about the business of fashion … it is not something that has been done at all,”  Yomi Abiola


Yomi Abiola started her career as an international model. She was the first African face for Maybelline cosmetics. She has since expanded her career into journalism as a contributing editor to Vogue.it and L’Uomo Vogue. In 2010 she became an associate to the UNESCO Chair for human rights. She has built programs for schools using fashion art and culture as tools for education. Her most recent venture is the first global platform to promote social responsibility in the fashion industry–Stand Up For Fashion.


What exactly is Stand Up For Fashion?

Stand Up For Fashion is a global campaign harnessing fashion’s energy, reach, and influence to change the industry, and the world, for the better.

Who is behind it? How did it get started?
The platform was created by Yomi Abiola, Model, activist and journalist. I noticed the same complaints about social issues in the industry were persisting. Through extensive research and professional experiences within the industry, I realised fashion needed a platform to dialogue and create change.

Tell me about the event. What is the goal? Who’s going?
The event is about awareness and celebration. The awareness is to let people know that there is a platform that exists to promote social responsibility, The celebration is about the movement that has already taken place. We have seen huge changes in the industry which deserve to be highlighted and celebrated.

Are other organizations getting involved? If so, which ones?
We are in talks with several organisations. We have been endorsed by the UNESCO Chair for Human rights. The organisations are important, but beyond organisations, we are interested in the individuals. Partnering with Tumblr has been amazing. Being around fresh excited energy has been so important in making this platform viral and sustainable.

What has the feedback been thus far?
The feedback has been humbling. You never really know how deep a need is until you take steps towards fulfilling it. I have been excited by how conscious some people in the industry are.

What are your future plans? Is there a STUFF vision? If so, what is it?
STUFF will have its first panel in Spring 2013 in New York. The findings from the first panel will help us map out our FFV Future Fashion Vision.

yomi-abiola (1)by: JENNIFER EVE EISNER