Yesterday, Prada announced that it is withdrawing their latest products after some items displayed in a Manhattan storefront were seen as depicting blackface imagery.
It all started after New York-based Nigerian civil rights attorney Chinyere Ezie spotted the products at the Prada store in Manhattan’s Soho shopping district after recently returning from a conference in Washington.
She had just visited the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, she wrote on Facebook, and in New York was struck by how the Prada items looked similar to images she saw in an exhibit on blackface at the museum. This made her shake in anger.
Her post stirred nationwide reactions, and shortly after Prada released a statement, saying that the Pradamalia products depict “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,” the statement continued.
However, Ezie said she felt Prada’s response constituted the “same paltry excuses that we’ve heard throughout history about racist imagery.”
She further told WABC News that Prada is “a multinational, multibillion-dollar company. They can do their own research about what these painful images mean. There was no mistaking it, there was no ambiguity.”