Prada has agreed to set up an advisory council to address issues of "diversity, inclusion and culture," after the fashion company was accused last week of selling a line of accessories closely resembling racist blackface imagery.
The label pulled the Pradamalia merchandise on Friday, insisting in a statement that the items were "fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre." Chinyere Ezie, a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights who first brought attention to the "Sambo like imagery" in a Soho storefront, subsequently blasted the "non-apology apology."
"The fact that this was green-lit at headquarters tells me, indisputably, there are no black faces, no one who looks like me, in the company's decision making tree," Ezie told Gothamist. "This company is completely tone deaf when it comes to race and I don't think people should be shopping there anymore."
Perhaps in response to the threat of a looming boycott, Prada released a second statement on Sunday in which they vowed to take "immediate steps to learn from this." In addition to the advisory council, Prada promised to improve diversity training and to "examine the processes that led to such a product reaching the market in the first place."
The company also said they'd be donating profits from the Pradamalia line to a New York-based racial justice organization—though the company didn't specify which one. The offending items, which remained on the website as of Friday, appear to have since been removed.
Meanwhile in What The Hell Is Wrong With People, an investigation by NBC New York's I-Team traced an abundance of racist products on eBay to a home in New Jersey, which they found "adorned with Confederate flags and blackface statues." The seller, who used a klanman1kkk email address, was suspended by eBay shortly after the site was contacted. He had 125 active listings, most of which were blackface statues.