Barneys is coming under fire after reports surfaced that 19-year-old Queens student Trayvon Christian was allegedly racially profiled at the high-end department store Wednesday (Oct. 23) after purchasing a Ferragamo belt. Today, a 21-year-old black woman named Kayla Phillips has come forward claiming that she, too, was racially profiled by detectives after copping a Celine bag from Barneys this past February.
Now, folks are taking out their frustration on the retailer by signing a petition on Change.org, asking rapper mogul Jay Z to pull out of his impending partnership with the store. Hov is set to collaborate with Barneys this holiday season for an exclusive collection of luxury items designed by the Brooklyn lyricist.
The petition’s organizer Derick Bowers writes:
I’ve been a lifelong Jay Z fan. Jay Z is currently in partnership with Barneys New York for the release of his holiday collection — called “A New York Holiday” (or BNY SCC). Barneys lacks any connection with the black and hip-hop community. And without his vast wealth and brand power, they would see him the same as they see Trayon Christian. Jay Z should be appalled by Barneys actions, and withdraw all support from them. If he does this, he will send a clear message to all corporations that are likeminded, that this behavior cannot be tolerated any longer.
He also designed a shirt that reads “Barneys New Slaves,” which references Kanye West’s “New Slaves.” At $25 a pop, all proceeds go to the Boys and Girls Club of America.