Luxury brand Prada is in hot water after a window display of what appeared to be blackface figures were seen at its SoHo location.
BoycottPrada has been used by people on social media after the figures were noticed by civil rights lawyer Chinyere Ezie, who posted photos of the window display on her Facebook page. She called the display was “Sambo like imagery.”
“Today after returning to NYC after a very emotional visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture including an exhibit on blackface, I walked past Prada’s Soho storefront only to be confronted with the very same racist and denigrating blackface imagery,” Ezie said on social media.
She went on to say that she went inside the store to see more offensive figures and asked an employee about it.
“When I asked a Prada employee whether they knew they had plastered blackface imagery throughout their store, in a moment of surprising candor I was told that a black employee had previously complained about blackface at Prada, but he didn’t work there anymore,” she said.
People have been stopping by the store to protest and condemn the figures. Brooklyn City Council Member Jumaane Williams went to the store and reportedly said that Prada should donate to anti-hate groups.
“The question is who the hell approved this,” he said. “They have to apologize.”
The figures are part of Prada’s “Pradamalia” line that includes seven “mysterious tiny creatures that are one part biological, one part technological, all parts Prada.”
The company took to Twitter to explain saying that they didn’t intend to offend anyone.
“Prada Group abhors racist imagery,” the company said. “The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre. They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface. Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery. In this interest we will withdraw the characters in question from display and circulation.”