Someone, probably a number of people, at Prada played themselves. The luxury brand, and specifically its Soho, NYC store’s storefront, face criticism and backlash for a collection that looked strikingly similar to Blackface imagery that made it into a window display.
Reports CBS News:
Chinyere Ezie was walking past a Prada store in downtown Manhattan Thursday when she saw what she described as a “racist and denigrating” caricature being displayed in the front of the store. In a Facebook post, she described “shaking with anger.”
“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,” she wrote.
“History cannot continue to repeat itself,” she added. “Black America deserves better.” She also tweeted sarcastically, “Thanks to #blackface @Prada, now you can take #sambo home with you for the holidays.”
The Internet caught wind of Prada’s racism and has been going in, rightfully so.
Prada issued a statement that ridiculously meh.
“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. We abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery. We will withdraw all of the characters in question from display and circulation,” a Prada Group spokesperson told CBS News.
It’s 2018, and the blatant use of such imagery is not to be tolerated. Even more maddening is that surely dozens of people signed off on the collection—and that no one stopped the display from getting created.
No one at the company thought this was racist beforehand? Total fail.
Check out the most poignant Twitter reactions in the gallery. Is Prada canceled or nah?
1. Even Kunta can see it…
I am a 53 yr old white man in the south. You can Prada oeuvre all you want. I know blackface when I see it and this it— Trill The Troublemaker (@eastmemphisslim) December 14, 2018
4. The Struggle
Who at Prada thought this was a good idea? https://t.co/qpRCzvrUWl— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) December 14, 2018
So Prada “studied its DNA” to come up with the Pradamalia line and what it apparently found in its chromosomes was...blackface caricature? https://t.co/QI6x8SZIPb— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) December 14, 2018
if I was a betting man I'd say these Prada monkeys aren't going to go over well pic.twitter.com/Y6lOnYPUAE— Tyler McCall (@eiffeltyler) December 14, 2018
Prada has pulled its red-lipped monkey dolls, which echoed racist “Sambo” imagery https://t.co/th3SyTjMG6— Quartz (@qz) December 14, 2018