Prada Forced To Remove Products After Figurine Slammed As 'Racist'

Luxury fashion brand Prada has pulled a collection of controversial figurines after it received a barrage of criticism, with many calling the trinkets 'racist'.

A lawyer in New York City called out the company after spotting the Pradamalia line of $550 figurines - which features two monkey characters that a number of people have described as perpetuating 'racist and denigrating blackface imagery'.

Chinyere Ezie - an attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights - wrote on Facebook: "I don't make a lot of public posts, but right now I'm shaking with anger.

Chinyere wrote that the Prada figurines were 'racist'. Credit: Facebook / Chinyere Ezie
Chinyere wrote that the Prada figurines were 'racist'. Credit: Facebook / Chinyere Ezie

Chinyere compared the figurines to imagery from a Smithsonian exhibition on 'blackface'. Credit: Facebook / Chinyere Ezie
Chinyere compared the figurines to imagery from a Smithsonian exhibition on 'blackface'. Credit: Facebook / Chinyere Ezie

The Prada items were described as 'racist'. Credit: Facebook / Chinyere Ezie
The Prada items were described as 'racist'. Credit: Facebook / Chinyere Ezie

"Today after returning to NYC after a very emotional visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture including an exhibit on blackface, I walked past Prada's Soho storefront only to be confronted with the very same racist and denigrating #blackface imagery."

She continued: "When I asked a Prada employee whether they knew they had plastered blackface imagery throughout their store, in a moment of surprising candor I was told that *a black employee had previously complained about blackface at Prada, but he didn't work there anymore.*

"History cannot continue to repeat itself. Black America deserves better. And we demand better."

Since then, the post has received more than 10,000 shares and a whole host of people have taken to Twitter to express their anger and disdain over the collection.

Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter

Soon after, Ezie shared a picture of the same store with its windows covered in paper, as Prada said it would withdraw the characters at the centre of the controversy from circulation.

But the fight is far from over. Although Prada released a statement about the figures, many took to social media to express their dissatisfaction with the company's response.

The company said: "Prada Group abhors racist imagery. The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre. They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface."

In response to the response, one Twitter user wrote: "Fantasy charms my a**. It's #Blackface plain and simple, and your attempt to justify it is a great insult and minimizes your effort in an apology @Prada."

Meanwhile, another user highlighted that the company shared an advert for its Pradamalia line soon after releasing the statement.

They wrote: "Forty-five minutes after this 'apology' you posted an advert for the #Pradamalia collection. You're still profiting off the imagery. Pull it all. Hire black women. Donate to equitable causes. You messed up, big time."

Ezie, along with New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, is now urging the world to boycott the company.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook / Chinyere Ezie

Daisy Phillipson

Daisy is a UK-based freelance journalist with too many opinions. She loves everything film and music-related and has a track record writing for Little White Lies, BWRC, and Film Daily. Contact her at [email protected]

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