A petition has been started that urges Jay Z to end his partnership with Barneys, after several incidents of discrimination involving young black consumers.
Barneys New York has been in hot water the past two days for discrimination, specifically against two separate shoppers, both of whom are black. This in turn has led people to petition that Jay Z abandon his capsule collection with the high-end store.
As we reported earlier this month, Hov worked on a limited edition Holiday collection with Barneys New York, which will be available in store on November 20th. Yesterday it was reported that a 19-year old black man, Trayvon Christian, who purchased a $349 Ferragamo belt at Barneys flagship store in NY was stopped by the police on suspicion of credit card fraud. Today a second story emerged, this one involving a black female, Kayla Phillips, who bought a $2,500 Celine bag from the store. Kayla had made her way out of the store after purchasing the designer bag when four cops surrounded her three blocks away, demanding to see I.D. and harassing her with questions.
Bowers says, "Barneys lacks any connection with the black and hip-hop community. And without his vast wealth and brand power, they would see him the same as they see Trayon Christian. Jay Z should be appalled by Barneys actions, and withdraw all support from them. If he does this, he will send a clear message to all corporations that are likeminded, that this behavior cannot be tolerated any longer."
Bowers has also created a shirt in support of his petition, which is a riff on Kanye West's "New Slaves," and appropriately so. The t-shirt reads "Barneys New Slaves" (see it in the gallery above). All t-shirt profits go to the Boys and Girls Club of America.
You can head here to sign the petition.