“He’s been a huge supporter of my brand, and I’m really happy to be here to support him,” said Cushnie, who had shown her own collection of sumptuous gowns and separates the previous week.

That halo of community support is likely to spread far and bright. When Rae became the first person of color to host the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards in 2018, Rembert ensured that all of her outfits (there were at least five) were the creations of black designers.

The opening look—a single-shouldered jumpsuit with a sheer, crystal-dazzled overlay, was custom-made by Kerby Jean-Raymond, of Pyer Moss. (“Diana Ross in Mahogany”  was the direction he said that Rembert provided.) Though he skipped a show this season, Jean-Raymond was far from invisible at Fashion Week, having been the subject of New York Times profile lauding his “ability to marry elegance of line with an unapologetic demand for social justice.”

Pyer Moss was also included in a timely viral article on the website Shoppe Black, alongside the aforementioned Cushnie: a simple list of black-owned luxury brands “to support instead of Gucci or Prada,” in the wake of those brands’ racial missteps. Since its Feb. 9 publication, the list has been shared more than 36,000 times on Facebook.

Shoppe Black cofounder Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson, who launched the site with his wife Shantrelle Lewis in 2015 to highlight black businesses, told me it was their most popular post to date. “I wrote it so that Black-owned luxury brands can get some of the attention that Gucci was getting,” said Lawson.

After Gucci’s balaclava incident, the Harlem tailor and Gucci collaborator Dapper Dan announced via Instagram that he had summoned the company’s CEO to Harlem to further discuss the matter. And both Gucci and Prada have announced steps this week to build a more culturally inclusive corporate culture: Prada brought on the artist and activist Theaster Gates and the film director Ava DuVernay to chair an advisory council that will address the company’s hiring and internal practices, and sponsor scholarships and training programs. Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele issued an apology that took full responsibility for the balaclava, and also provided some insight into how on earth it came to be, citing the 1980s performance artist Leigh Bowery as its inspiration.

Still, some young designers are heeding the advice of Dapper Dan—who outfitted hip hop royalty in the 1980s, “cutting and splicing logo-splattered luxury goods from labels such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton,” as Marc Bain wrote. “Instead of going up someone else’s staircase,” Dapper Dan told New York Magazine last year, “we should focus on building our own.”

International conglomerates should know by now that they must build better, more inclusive businesses, and collections that both reflect and respect their global consumers. At New York Fashion Week, it was increasingly clear that if they don’t, someone else will.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.