Diane Von Furstenberg, rocked by pandemic, insists the jet-setting woman hasn’t gone away

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Diane Von Furstenberg, founder of the eponymous DVF fashion brand and creator of its iconic wrap dress, knows a thing or two about travel. The Belgian-born designer studied in England, Spain, and Switzerland before marrying into German nobility and founding her womenswear brand in New York. 

The aforementioned jersey wrap dress was created by DVF for women like Von Furstenberg who lived out of a suitcase but wanted to remain chic. Its fans include Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton, as well as legions of professional women and expectant mothers. 

“You know, I’ve always been the same woman, I was the same woman at 20,” said Von Furstenberg at Fortune’s MPW Next Gen virtual conference on Tuesday. “I wanted to be a woman who can move and … Read the rest

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Amazon Prime Day expected to hit nearly $10 billion in a big jolt to retailers’ holiday shopping plans

Once again, Amazon is setting the agenda in retail with its two-day Prime Day sales event starting on Tuesday, an annual shopping extravaganza that comes three months later this year than it has in the past.

The online retailer’s global sales on October 13 and 14 should hit about $9.9 billion, including more than $6 billion in the U.S. alone, according to projections from eMarketer. That’s up 43% over Prime Day in 2019, when the event took place in July. JPMorgan has similar expectations, projecting Prime Day will generate U.S. revenue of $7.5 billion, up 42% over last year. (Amazon does not disclose the sales results.)

Prime Day started off in 2015 as a made up event to drum up sales at the quiet time of the year for shopping. But this year, Prime Day stands in as the kick-off to the 2020 holiday season—three weeks before Christmas spending … Read the rest

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How the finance industry can combat racism

“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.” – Amy Cooper 

“I’m a tenant of the building; are you?” – Tom Austin

Amid the unrest, anger, and outrage at the sheer injustice of systemic racism, Amy Cooper and Tom Austin are just two examples of white people using their privilege in an attempt to control Black people who dared to exert personal agency in shared spaces. After being called out publicly, Cooper lost her job, and Austin lost his office lease. 

Why point out these incidents instead of the thousands of other examples? Because while both apologized and stated “I’m not a racist,” they had tremendous influence in the finance industry through their leadership positions. 

There are real questions as to how these implicit biases influenced hiring, advancement, and access to capital at their firms. Their actions in these moments provide a spotlight on how … Read the rest

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The next President must tackle the intertwined crises of racial injustice and climate change

Hurricane Delta, the 25th named Atlantic storm of the 2020 hurricane season, made landfall in southwest Louisiana in almost the exact same place Hurricane Laura swept through just weeks ago. Laura struck Gulf Coast communities the week of the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In Laura’s wake, a chemical plant ignited into flames in Lake Charles, La., spewing toxic smoke into the surrounding area for three days.

This is the heart of the petrochemical industry in the U.S., where clusters of industrial facilities dot the landscape. As protests around the country have drawn attention to Black people being killed by police violence again and again, violence of pollution and climate disaster plagues these same communities.

Over 48% of Lake Charles’s residents are Black people. Since Katrina made landfall 15 years ago, devastating Black communities in particular, the country has seen waves of disasters amplifying existing inequality. In 2017, when Hurricane … Read the rest

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The Ford Foundation announces $180 million in new racial justice grants, supported by proceeds from social bonds

The Ford Foundation announced $180 million in new grant funding for U.S. racial justice and civil rights groups, the organizations large and small who are doing essential work to address systemic racism and support full democratic inclusion. This latest funding doubles the Foundation’s existing commitments in the civil justice arena to $330 million.

This latest allocation has been made possible by a deft use of capital markets—unprecedented in philanthropic history. In June, the Foundation announced its plan to borrow $1 billion in social bonds to increase its grant-giving capacity at a time when mission-critical organizations large and small are losing revenue due to the coronavirus.

“What was creative was figuring out a way to increase our giving while not diminishing the current value of our endowment,” Ford Foundation president Darren Walker tells Fortune.

He recalls the time in March and April when the Foundation was facing a confluence of issues, … Read the rest

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