• As two incidents of racial profiling against shoppers of color at Barneys have made headlines this week, CEO, Mark Lee is set on making amends. The luxury retail boss has set an appointment to meet with Reverend Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network to discuss Barneys current system of targeting certain brown customers who make expensive purchases as “suspicious.” Lee posted a follow-up note on Barneys Facebook page, in which he pledges to examine their policies.
“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. Further to our statement of yesterday, 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.
To this end, we are conducting a thorough review of our practices and procedures as they relate to these matters to ensure that they reflect our continued commitment to fairness and equality. To lead this review, we have retained a civil rights expert, Michael Yaki, who also serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The Commission has been the nation’s watchdog for civil rights for more than 50 years. Mr. Yaki will be provided with unrestricted access to all aspects of our store operations.
In addition, Barneys New York has reached out to community leaders to begin a dialogue on this important issue.
Meanwhile, pressure still mounts against Jay Z, who partnered with Barney’s for their Holiday collection, to sever ties with the retailer. A Change.org petition imploring the rapper to rethink the partnership has already gleaned some 2500 signatures. Still, I doubt this latest act from Mark Lee will do little to quell the outraged community. (WWD)
• Rebecca Minkoff is in a bit of hot water, having being fined $77,000 for failing to meet workplace safety standards according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It seems they busted Minkoff because her 33 West 17th Street headquarters and showroom is a little cluttered. According to WWD, “OSHA found that many of the sixth-floor offices and the showroom space were overcrowded and congested with boxes, rolling racks, workstations, chairs, equipment, storage and other materials.” Minkoff’s people plan to promptly rectify the situation. (WWD)
• From the recently-announced departure of Jil Sander from her namesake label, comes the inevitable mass conjecture of who might take over in her stead. Insiders are liking Gabriele Colangelo, formerly of Roberto Cavalli and Versace, for the role. Colangelo’s minimalist aesthetic could be quite a nice fit for Jil Sander, who has yet to comment on her exit. I expect there will be several names popping out of the ‘ol rumor mill on this one! (Vogue UK)
• Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom announced today in a joint statement that they are ending their marriage of six years after being “amicably separated for the past few months.” The statement reads, “After six years together, they have recently decided to formalise their separation. Despite this being the end of their marriage, they love, support and respect each other as both parents of their son [Flynn, 1] and as family.” Always sad to see love wax cold :( (Vogue UK)
• In his decades of superstardom, Sir Paul McCartney has amassed a collection of famous friends, a few of which are in his latest video for “Queenie Eye.” In addition to cameos by Johnny Depp (bobbing his head to some other song the entire time) and Meryl Streep, you will find appearances by Tom Ford and Sean Penn. Not to be missed is Kate Moss‘s flamenco dance (likely to the same tune Johnny was listening to) atop McCartney’s piano. Enjoy! (Fashionista)