Another Black woman has made history as Pamela Culpepper becomes the first Black woman on the luxury fashion brand Prada’s board of directors.
According to a Prada press release, Culpepper has been appointed as an independent non-exclusive director of Prada S.p.A. along with Anna Maria Rugarli. The latter has also been tapped for Prada’s board.
The pair were selected based on their professional backgrounds in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and will provide the luxury brand’s board members with sustainability assessments and any decisions based on the three courses of action.
Culpepper is the co-founder of Have her Back L.L.C., a female-owned and led culture consultancy focused on advancing equity for all. She also served as the chief human resources officer at Cboe global markets, one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies.
“People who know me and know what Prada stands for, quickly see what connects us—status quo is simply not an option,” Culpepper told Essence. “I’m proud to be a part of that challenge. One of Prada’s principles is to go where the risk is. Prada has stepped out front to lead the industry in ESG. It would be easier to fast follow, but that would be counter to both of our instincts. Prada is at the intersection of authentically connecting their values and purpose with the needs and will of their key stakeholders. My role is to help strategically navigate that intersection.”
Since being accused of racism in 2018, Prada has made several moves to increase diversity within its ranks. In 2019, the brand formed its Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, and its council co-chair, Theaster Gates, created design labs in marketplaces such as Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, highlighting where diverse designers and artists hail from.
The luxury brand also brought on Ava DuVernay as diversity and inclusion advisory chair. Prada also provides diverse communities opportunities through its create internship and apprenticeship programs.