News: Barneys Cancels Jay Z's Big Party Plans After Growing Pressure, Outside Tensions
Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 9:31AM
Despite rap mogul Jay Z standing behind Barneys in light of racial profiling accusations, the high-end retailer has reportedly nixed a scheduled New York celebration party in Young Hov's honor this week.
While details are slim, a statement from Barneys has brought the pre-party plans to an end.
Jay Z isn't in a party mood. Following allegations that Barneys employees racially profiled black customers, a soirée planned to kick off the rapper's fashion collaboration with the high-end department store has been canceled. The Barneys-sponsored event, scheduled for Wednesday night, was supposed to raise money for the music mogul's Shawn Carter Foundation. "Due to unforeseen circumstances, the event has been canceled," read a statement from Barneys. (New York Daily News)
Various media outlets speculate growing tensions from Jay sticking to Barneys likely contributed to the company's decision.
Although it's unclear whether the event was cancelled due to the racial discrimination lawsuits, -- a call to Barneys vice president of public relations & special events wasn't immediately returned -- we can't say we're surprised. Folks are still fired up about the partnership between the rapper-turned-mogul and high-end department store. And with so much negativity surrounding the venture, we think celebrating pricey clothes and accessories seems a bit silly, and we're not the only ones who feel that way. "Any African-American, male or female, with any consciousness of what has happened would not go into Barneys right now. Nor Macy's." André Leon Talley, the former editor-at-large of Vogue, told The New York Times. (Huffington Post)
Heading into the weekend, Young Hov issued a public statement to the masses regarding his decision to stay with Barneys.
"In the past several weeks two separate investigations were launched as a result of the wrongful detention of Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips. My team has been privy to the status of the Barneys third party consultant investigation. In continuing our research, we also contacted the New York State Attorney General's office for the status of their investigation into both Barneys and Macy's. Those findings are not yet available. 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." (Life & Times)
Jigga also emphasized his collaborative effort would fully go toward supporting the Shawn Carter Foundation.
"As I previously stated, the collaboration with Barneys has always been about giving and The Shawn Carter Foundation. From this collection, the Foundation will receive not only 25% of sales, it will now receive the additional 75% of Barneys' sales, totalling 100% of all sales from BNY SCC. Along with 100% of sales from the collaboration, the Foundation will receive an additional 10% of all retail sales from Barneys New York stores nationwide and Barneys.com on November 20th. - Shawn "JAY Z" Carter" (Life & Times)
After an in-person discussion with civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton, Barneys CEO Mark Lee addressed the racial profiling situation last month.
"No one, and I mean no individual, should go through the unacceptable experiences described by Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips," Lee said Tuesday after an hour-long sitdown with the Rev. Al Sharpton at the Harlem headquarters of his National Action Network. "We offer our deepest sympathies to both of them." Sharpton and his National Action Network demanded a face-to-face with Barneys brass- and threatened to put shopping at the high-end retailer "on hold" -- after Christian and Phillips accused Barneys of sending cops to question and detain them after they made big-ticket buys at the Manhattan flagship. (New York Post)