For 6 decades, DM’s have empowered our wearers to stand up, stand out, shout and be counted — and we’ve celebrated those who challenge the status quo. From subverting harmful stereotypes to blazing new paths — the DM’s community shows no signs of slowing down. We’ve turned the spotlight on women from across our business to talk about the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day: breaking the bias.
We caught up with CC Morgan (she/her), Global Asset Creative Lead, to learn a little bit more about her time in the creative industry so far, what makes her proud — and the changes she’s still hoping to see.
Tell us a bit about your role — what’s your favourite part of the job?
My title is Asset Creative Lead. I photograph campaigns for DM’s — and I art direct shoots. It’s busy — but a dream role for me. I love building a creative that’s cheeky and fun — or moody and ravey. From the mood board stage, right through to casting, colour palette and location. It’s dreamy seeing everything come to life. I also adore working with women and POC creatives on projects.
What does the IWD theme of “breaking the bias” mean to you?
As a mixed-race woman in the creative industry, you come up against countless barriers. There’s a genuine psychological impact of not seeing anyone that looks like you in senior positions — or killing it as a creative leader. It makes me more driven than ever to shake the system — and to be that inspiration for other LGBT Black and Brown women.
As a woman in the creative industry, what makes you proud?
I’m so proud that I kept pushing. Most well-known photographers are male, and crews are often male-dominated too. Despite all the knocks — and not being taken seriously at times — I’ve created my opportunities to really push for diversity. In-front and behind the camera. Last year I shot a campaign for DM’s called Louder Together, which I’m incredibly proud of. I still don’t think the industry has entirely caught on to how powerful the female gaze is. We’ll get there!
What does it mean for you to work at DM’s?
Knowing that I’ve made it to such a historic brand despite the odds — it’s an epic feeling. I wrote in an old notebook that I wanted to shoot a campaign for Dr. Martens — 6 months later, I was hired as DM’s only in-house photographer.
“There’s a Bad Bitch Energy that emerges when you stomp the streets in platform Docs. If you know, you know!”
Who are the women around you who inspire you?
My mum’s resilience inspires me so much. Single mums really are the unsung heroes of this world. I was lucky enough to be raised by a woman who told me I could achieve anything I wanted with hard work. I know her belief had a massive impact on where I am now.
What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?
An actress! I dreamt of being in front of the camera – and now I live my life behind it!
What’s the most important piece of career advice you’ve received?
Don’t get wasted at work parties! Just kidding. Probably to not take anything personally — and not let the fear of making mistakes hold you back.
What message would you want to send to young women thinking about their careers?
Enthusiasm is catching. If you believe in something unwaveringly, try your hardest to make it happen. If the traditional route isn’t working for you — shake it up! If you want to be in the creative industry, a solid and varied portfolio is crucial — so never stop building it. Create work that you feel inspired by — and others will naturally be drawn to it. Inspiration is infectious.
What change would you like to see by IWD 2023?
I want to see endometriosis classified as a disability worldwide. It’s a disease that affects 1 in 10 women – a chronic pain illness caused by harmful tissue growing outside of the uterus. It’s massively under-researched. I’ve been diagnosed and have had multiple surgeries. I’m lucky that I can work, but endometriosis affects people to varying degrees of severity, and many can’t work due to the pain. Currently, the UK doesn’t consider Endo a disability despite being a debilitating disease. I would love to see the UK government change this by next year — so that women who suffer can survive with the help of disability benefits.
To continue our celebration of International Women’s Day, we spent some time with women from across the DM’s business to talk more about breaking the bias. Find out more in the video below.
Photographer and Director: Olivia Rose @oliviarosegarden
Director of Photography: Aman Sahota @aman.k_sahota
Sound: Rowena Colman @ro_oh_no