In September it was announced that Jigga was teaming with the high-end fashion retailer to release his “New York Holiday” collection, which will feature exclusive scarves, backpacks, jackets and watches from labels like Balmain and Balenciaga. Now, a recent controversy involving Barneys has many feeling like Jay should now throw his weight around.
On Tuesday, the Daily News in New York reported that Trayon Christian, a 19-year-old college student was arrested back in April after he purchased a $349 Salvatore Ferragamo belt with his debit card at Barneys’ flagship store. The teen left the store and was arrested by undercover police several blocks away, when police suspected he had used a fraudulent card to make the purchase. Now, Christian, who is black, has filed a lawsuit claiming that he was the victim of racial profiling.
After Christian’s story broke, another Barneys shopper came forward with a similar story. Kayla Phillips, 21, says police were “rough” with her after she spent her income tax return on a $2,500 designer bag earlier this year.
“Barneys New York believes that no customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies,” the CEO of Barneys New York said in a statement posted on the company’s Facebook page. “We want to reinforce that Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. We are a strong proponent of equal rights and equal treatment for all human beings. Our mission is to ensure that all customers receive the highest-quality service–without exception.”
As of press time nearly 2,000 people have signed the Change.org petition which calls for Jay Z to end all partnerships with Barneys New York. “If he does this, he will send a clear message to all corporations that are likeminded, that this behavior cannot be tolerated any longer,” the petition reads.
MTV News reached out to Jay Z, who is scheduled to perform in Sweden on Friday (October 25) on his Magna Carter… Holy Grail Tour, but have yet to receive comment.
We’ve also reached out The NYPD, who have yet to comment.