This week, reports went viral after 19-year-old Trayon Christian — a Queens native — was arrested for credit card fraud by NYPD after he purchased a $349.00 Ferragamo belt at Barney’s New York in Manhattan.
The store accused the teen of purchasing the item with a stolen debit card. In the past, the store has been accused of racial profiling.
Back in February, a 21-year-old student and nurse, Kayla Phillips, accused the store of racial profiling when she was stopped by undercover cops at a NYC train station for credit card fraud after purchasing a $2,500 Celine bag with her tax returns.
Rapper Jay Z, who currently has a “A Holiday Day” gift project with the company, came under fire on Friday after fashion-designer Derick Bowers petitioned him to drop his partnership with the mega retailer.
The hip-hop mogul released a statement last night saying he should’t be demonized and denounced for not speaking out the Incident via Life&Times:
This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear. The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barneys. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity… not profit.
I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately? The negligent, erroneous reports and attacks on my character, intentions, and the spirit of this collaboration have forced me into a statement I didn’t want to make without the full facts. Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn’t hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education.
I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn’t harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration. I am against discrimination of any kind, but if I make snap judgements, no matter who it’s towards, aren’t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles? I am no stranger to being profiled and I truly empathize with anyone that has been put in that position. Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter.
Wiz Khalifa also experienced his fair share of Barney’s New York in Beverly Hills in 2009, after he told friends he was badly treated because of his skin color.
If Jigga decides to move forward with his collection (scheduled to debut on Nov. 20 — just in time for the holiday rush), you will be able to check out the luxury items at Barneys stores in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston.
The rapper is also scheduled to design a special window display at the Manhattan store to promote the merchandise. A fraction of the sales from the collection will go to Jay Z’s charity, which provides scholarships to needy students.
Phillips has filed a $5 million-dollar lawsuit against Barney. Christian is also suing the NYPD and Barney’s NY.