Gucci Names First Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Milano MI, Italy - Formerly head of diversity and inclusion for Major League Baseball, Renée Tirado will lead the luxury Italian fashion brand's efforts “to put culture—self-expression and inclusivity—at the center of what we do,” said Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzarri.

Following the July 15 appointment of Fiona Pargeter as head of diversity and inclusion at Chanel, Gucci on Tuesday announced that it has filled a similar position. Announced five months ago as part of a larger diversity and inclusion initiative, the position of global head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Gucci has been filled by Renée Tirado.

An attorney, Tirado previously served as the chief diversity and inclusion officer at Major League Baseball and in similar roles at global finance and insurance corporation AIG and the United States Tennis Association. In the new role at Gucci, she will hire a global team to develop and execute plans “to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace and increase workforce diversity as it relates to Gucci’s business initiatives,” according to a brand statement.

Tirado will join the Gucci Changemakers Council (committed to social change in communities through scholarships and a $5 million fund to aid communities of color), the advisory board of Chime for Change (created by Gucci in 2013 to advocate for gender equality worldwide) and other company initiatives that support the LGBTQIA community and inclusivity efforts. She also will lead Gucci’s culture awareness learning program for employees, global multicultural design fellowship program and internal global exchange program.

Gucci faced backlash in the past year for culturally insensitive or racist products, including “blackface” balaclava sweaters that were pulled from stores in February and an “Indy full turban” resembling a Sikh headdress that debuted at Milan Fashion Week in February. Other luxury brands including Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Burberry faced similar criticism over products and campaigns. Chanel, Prada and Burberry have all introduced diversity initiatives.

“Since 2015, [Gucci creative director] Alessandro [Michele] and I have worked to put culture — self-expression and inclusivity — at the center of what we do,” Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzarri said in a statement. “This appointment is a fundamental building block to further our commitment and support the initiatives already in place. As a learning organization, we have challenged ourselves over the last few months to accelerate our vision to develop a strong organization. I am confident that Renée will help us create the meaningful change we want to see not only in our company but in the fashion industry … Renée believes that diversity and equity should be a daily way of being.”

Noting that Gucci stands out as a leader in the fashion industry on diversity and inclusivity with its “breadth of initiatives,” Tirado said: “I am in the business of making human connections that start with the foundation of inclusivity, respect, and diversity to ensure Gucci remains culturally relevant and economically competitive. I am honored to join a company that puts these non-negotiable values at the forefront of their business model, not as a ‘nice to have’ but as a key component of its business strategy.”