Prada has pulled products from one of their lines, after a woman pointed out their similarities to blackface.
Chinyere Ezie, an attorney for the Center of Constitutional Rights, was walking past a Prada store in New York City Thursday, There, she noticed a black caricature with exaggerated big red lips.
On social media, Ezie called out the luxury brand. “Thanks to #blackface @Prada, now you can take #sambo home with you for the holidays #StopRacism #SopBlackface #StopPrada.”
According to CBS News, the character is part of the luxury brand’s “Pradamalia” collection. Prada says they are meant to be imaginary creatures and no way connected to real life, nor blackface.
The history of blackface dates back centuries-- featured in plays, movies and minstrel shows. White and black performers wore extremely dark makeup, creating negative stereotypes about African Americans that still exist today.
In a pair of tweets, Prada addressed the backlash saying in part, “#Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery. In this interest we will withdraw the characters in question from display and circulation.”