Prada is currently in hot water with a lot of consumers after the company released a new campaign.
For it’s Pradamalia collection, the Italian fashion brand used figurines almost identical to the Little Black Sambo characters, complete with huge red lips, a wide smile and bulging eyes.
Yet, in a statement the company said it didn’t realize the figurines looked like blackface, which many found impossible to believe.
“#Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery,” the brand tweeted. “In this interest we will withdraw the characters in question from display and circulation.”
“#Prada Group abhors racist imagery,” they added. “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.”
But a lot of people weren’t buying their explanation and called for an immediate boycott.
“Shame on you,” one person wrote. “Disrespect to all people of color who patron you. You should know better. Boycott all that is Prada.”
Others said the campaign making it past all those Prada eyes is proof that more diversity is needed in its departments. Plus, there were people who said the fashion brand is lying about not wanting to put out racist imagery.
“Unless you were born in the last 10 years and have no access to social media, y’all knew what you were doing,” someone wrote. “You cannot plead ignorance nor innocence.”
“There were many eyes who viewed these items along the various stages of development: Concept & design, fabrication, mass production, strategic marketing, ad agency, individual store managers,” another person tweeted. Not a single person said ‘Perhaps there are some racist undertones here?'”
“Exactly,” a third person wrote. “All press is good press. Figure they’ll just apologize and we’ll move on.”