The seemingly innocuous topic of Jay Z’s limited edition holiday collection in collaboration with Barneys turned rife with controversy in the past few weeks after the upscale NYC department store was accused of two separate racial profiling incidents in the last month alone. Everyone from Jon Stewart to Andre Leon Talley criticized the hip-hop mogul’s decision to go forth with the high-profile partnership, even after he announced that 100 percent of the proceeds from the collection would go to his Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation for low-income students. Keep reading »
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Jay Z is doing everything he can to hold onto his potentially highly lucrative collaboration with Barney’s, even after the hoity-toity department store came under fire for two racial profiling incidents in the last month. Many has encouraged Jay Z to bow out of the deal, including Vogue‘s Andre Leon Talley, who told The New York Times, “Any African-American, male or female, with any consciousness of what has happened would not go into Barneys right now … for the simplicity of making a broad statement I would pull out.” But Jay isn’t budging. Instead, he and Barney’s announced that 100 percent of the proceeds from the BNY SCC collection will go to the rapper’s Shawn Carter Foundation, instead of the original 25 percent. Also, on launch day, an additional 10 percent of the proceeds store-wide will also be donated. And, to directly address the store’s terrible recent history of racially profiling and detaining Black youths who the store assumes can’t pay for their high-end goods, Jay will sit on a special committee to “deal” with the issue. Wrote Jay on his website:
While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling. I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on.
Last week, the mainstream media suddenly remembered racial profiling exists after a series of high-profile incidents in New York City. Unconnected to each other (as far as I know), several young Black people came forward about having been detained by police after shopping in department stores after they were accused of not reeeeally being able to afford the pricy items they bought.
Two were college students who were detained after they shopped at Barney’s, one for buying a Ferragamo belt and another for buying a handbag; another was actor Robert Brown from “Finding Forrester” and the TV show “Treme,” who was detained after he shopped at Macy’s. (He has subsequently filed a lawsuit against them.) Even male supermodel Tyson Beckford spoke up about being racially profiled and “followed all the time, any time I go to a store,” including Barney’s.
In response, Barney’s agreed last week [third item] to meet with civil rights leaders to discuss the allegations of racial profiling. However, many folks were waiting on Jay Z, who sells a high-end collabortion through the store, to respond. He also became a target last week of a Change.org petition with over 16,000 signatures asking him to end his partnership with the store.
This weekend, Hova finally released a statement, although it is perhaps not what everyone would have liked to hear. Keep reading »
Racial profiling — it’s so in this season!
On April 29th, Trayon Christian, a 19-year-old from Queens, New York, got paid from his work-study job at New York City College of Technology, so he decided to go shopping. The teen made his way to Barney’s New York, an upscale department store on tony Madison Avenue, to buy a belt he’d seen on a favorite rapper. The Ferragamo belt cost $349, which he paid for with his debit card and showed his ID, as per usual when you pay with debit. Happy with his new belt, Christian left the store with his purchase … only to be stopped by two New York Police Department officers, accusing him of using a fake card. Keep reading »
What a difference a week makes. Less than seven days ago, Katie Holmes was in the throes of announcing her divorce from Tom Cruise. But now? She’s focused on fashion. Holmes has had a fashion line with stylist Jeanne Yang — called Holmes & Yang — since 2009. It’s currently available exclusively at Barneys New York and Harvey Nichols, but this fall the collection will walk the runway in its debut appearance at New York Fashion Week. Cue Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out”… [WWD]
Step inside the beast — the beastly beast that is Lady Gaga’s gaping maw. This is the entry way to “Gaga’s Workshop,” the special Gaga-curated section of Barneys that the Mama Monster herself dreamed up. The workshop opens tonight at 11:59 p.m., and Gaga is supposed to be there to oversee the grand opening. Aside from a visit from the Lady herself, shoppers will be treated to special McQueen armadillo shoe-shaped cookies. Insert something about the cannibalistic nature of fashion here. [NY Mag]
Everybody wants to be different. As the King Missile song goes, “I want to be different, just like everybody else wants to be.” And apparently some very noncomformist guys are going to great lengths to make their girlfriends feel like the most different bride-to-be on the block. Check out this $9,000 Lucifer Vir Honestus engagement ring — all twisted rose gold, and statement jewels. It’s apparently the latest thing in engagement ring trends. But really, we want to know: would you want your engagement ring to be so … out of the box? [Barneys New York] Keep reading »
Not sure about you, but the first thing we think of when contemplating our holiday shopping is rubbing some luxury cashmere with raw seafood. At least Nobuyoshi Araki sees eye to eye with us. Check out some of the photographer’s work for Barneys‘ holiday campaign in all its foodie goodness, after the jump! [High Snobette] Keep reading »
Boy, models sure grow old fast these days. In Barneys’ fall 2010 catalog, model Lindsey Wixson, who is all of 16, has gray hair. The text-heavy fashion story is actually pretty adorable. The images are accompanied by a funny tale about a girl who moves into a new apartment where she falls in love with a mysterious, enigmatic cat. It’s so … literary. [Fashion Gone Rogue] Keep reading »
Simon Doonan is the famously charming and genius Creative Director of fancy department store Barneys New York. And also, apparently, one very irritated (and totally gay) elf. Yet, he still has to do his job, and take down everyone’s gift wish at the Barneys office. Watch to see Doonan’s best Santa’s Helper impression. [YouTube] Keep reading »