CEO Yael Aflalo has stepped down from her position at Reformation.
Yael Aflalo, founder, CEO, and former model, has stepped down from her position at Reformation, a Los Angeles brand founded 2009 with an emphasis on sustainable practices and materials, following allegations of racism from past employees that emerged on social media.
The controversy, Yahoo Finance writes, started on May 30 when the brand’s Instagram posts and donations to Black Lives Matter generated a tirade of comments and posts about the company’s treatment of Black people. Elle Santiago, a former assistant store manager posted about being overlooked for promotions, and said the company “consistently hired white women with the same or less qualifications over her.” She also detailed personal interactions with Aflalo, claiming that the founder would not look at her, and that senior managers resisted calls for diversity in the brand’s visuals, saying, “we’re not ready for that yet.” The post went viral, and was picked up by industry watchdog account DietPrada and other media outlets.
“I am resigning as CEO effective immediately,” she wrote on the company’s website Friday morning. “It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to build Reformation alongside such a passionate and talented group of individuals. Reformation has played a pivotal role in transforming our industry to be more sustainable, ethical and honest. I will always be proud of the company we built together.”
Aflalo will be replaced by current president Hali Borenstein. Following her departure, Reformation vowed to update its quarterly sustainability report to include goals and metrics on diversity and inclusion, as well as to “put more emphasis on working with Black creators throughout the creative process,” and strive to feature more “authentic diversity” in its imagery and branding.