The Prada Group has become the first luxury fashion brand to join The Valuable 500, a global community that promotes and works for the benefit of people with disabilities. Through this initiative, companies across various verticals are encouraged to include disability and diversity in their long-term plans and leadership meetings.
The Italian fashion group, which has Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe brands, is currently drafting its long-term inclusion and sustainability agenda, in line with its association with The Valuable 500.
Prada will begin this action plan by hiring individuals affected by Trisomy 21 (Down’s Syndrome) into its Italian retail network.
“The Valuable 500 community, which embraces a wide range of industries worldwide, is becoming stronger every day. I actively support the decision to join the coalition as I believe strongly in the value of diversity,” said Lorenzo Bertelli, Head of CSR, Prada Group in a press statement.
Last year, 18-year-old British model, Ellie Goldstein, became the first model with Down’s Syndrome to star in a beauty campaign by Gucci, in partnership with Vogue Italia. While in 2015, Jamie Brewer, the American Horror Story actress, was the first model with Down’s Syndrome to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week.
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With a larger goal to put disability on the global business leadership map, Caroline Casey, a social entrepreneur and activist, launched The Valuable 500 at the World Economic Forum in January 2019. This project aims at engaging 500 multinational companies that have at least 1,000 employees to make a public commitment to promote disability inclusion in their organisation. This will help to leverage the business, social and economic value of 1.3 billion people with disabilities around the world.
“Prada’s commitment to The Valuable 500 as the first luxury fashion group is historic. Leaders such as Prada have the power to elevate and reframe the way that society thinks about disability. We cannot underestimate what a watershed moment this is,” said Casey in a press statement.