Even though Jay Z pledged to stick by Barney’s side, it doesn’t look like the high-end department store is showing him the same love.
According to reports, the luxury retailer canceled the rapper’s kickoff party for his new “A New York Holiday” collection. The event was scheduled to take place this this week at the Madison Avenue flagship store in New York City, but now it’s a no-go.
And to top it off, Barneys failed to give an exact reason for the cancellation. Instead, the retail giant issued this short statement: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the event has been cancelled.”
As we reported earlier, the store’s New York branch is at the center of two separate racial discrimination lawsuits. Despite a public cry for Jay Z to dissociate himself from the brand, the hip hop mogul released a statement saying he plans to move forward with the company.
“While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s Office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling,” he wrote in a statement. “I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on.”
He added, “As I previously stated, the collaboration with Barneys has always been about giving and The Shawn Carter Foundation. From this collection, the Foundation will receive not only 25% of sales, it will now receive the additional 75% of Barneys’ sales, totalling 100% of all sales from BNY SCC.”
The rapper’s decision was not a popular one with the public. André Leon Talley, the former editor-at-large of Vogue, even spoke out about it. “Any African-American, male or female, with any consciousness of what has happened would not go into Barneys right now. Nor Macy’s.” he told The New York Times.
Despite the lack of a kickoff party, Jay’s “A New York Holiday” will still launch on Wednesday, November 20.
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