The Big Apple is asking one of the most iconic brands in history to pay like they weigh for a faux paux of grand proportions. Prada is moving forward with restitution to NYC for their cultural insensitivity.
Raw Story is reporting that luxury house is making good on what has been called one of the many racially clueless moves by the fashion industry. In December 2018 the Italian company released a set of items under their Pradamalia banner. The collection included pricey pieces such as key chains; the problem was some of the figures were black colored monkeys with red lips.
Naturally the campaign invoked “Black Face” imagery which did not sit well with people of color across the world resulting in the figurines being pulled. Prada quickly apologized in a formal statement. “The resemblance of the products to blackface was by no means intentional, but we recognize that this does not excuse the damage they have caused. We will learn from this and we will do better.”
That lesson will apparently come at a price. On Wednesday, February 5 a settlement was announced between the City of New York and Prada. According to the documentation Prada will coordinate racial equity training for their employees. Additionally they will launch a scholarship program “for people historically underrepresented in fashion”. A newly created Diversity Officer position will also appointed with approval from New York City’s Commission on Human Rights.
The last couple of years have been eye-opening for luxury fashion houses and consumers alike. Gucci infamously designed a turtle neck that also invoked sambo imagery months after being caught red handed stealing the original designs of Hip-Hop fashion pioneer Dapper Dan.