Barneys has been catching a lot of flack recently when two major profiling stories hit the news.
First there was 19-year-old, Trayon Christian who was arrested after the NYPD accused him of using a fraudulent credit card when he purchased his Ferragamo belt. After Christian’s story broke, Kayla Phillips, yet another black customer, came forward about her experience with Barneys and the NYPD when she attempted to purchase her sought after Céline bag.
According to Phillips’ mother, Wendy Elie, a Barneys security guard told her there are tons of undercover cops roaming Barneys at any given moment. This leads a lot of people to believe that black customers are being the target of racial profiling at the luxury retailer.
Elie took it one step further in blasting Barneys for allowing profiling tactics to take place in its store, especially since recently partnering with Jay-Z. Elie called the store hypocrites for striking a business deal with Jay-Z, even though they target black shoppers.
“It’s not fair . . . the two individuals who have had these experiences listen to Jay Z and Beyoncé, who wear designer clothes. These kids also like nice things, and they were treated awfully,” Elie said.
One has to wonder how does Jay-Z feel about the profiling going on at Barneys. Technically, if he was just plain ole Shawn Carter from Marcy, he’d probably receive the same treatment Christian and Phillips received.
Jay-Z partnered with designers like Balenciaga to produce an exclusive limited edition line of clothes and jewelry for Barneys that will go on sale Nov. 20th. The deluxe goods range from a Barneys cotton T-shirt for $70 to a Shawn Carter by Hublot watch with black alligator straps that will retail for an eye-popping $33,900.
Imagine a regular Shawn Carter walking into Barneys to purchase the Hublot watch curated by Jay-Z. I wonder how far he’d get down the block before the NYPD has him up against the turnstile in the subway under arrest?
If Jay-Z says nothing about these profiling incidents, maybe Harry Belafonte was right about him all along?