Jay Z Blasts Critics Of His Barneys Partnership
In September, Jay Z revealed a partnership with Barneys titled “A New York Holiday,” which will consist of limited edition pieces by high-end fashion brands and interactive window displays for the holiday season.
This week, the New York Daily News reported two separate incidents in which Barneys committed discrimination against two African American customers. Trayon Christian, 19, and Kayla Phillips, 21, were questioned by New York Police Department officials as suspects of credit card fraud.
After the New York Daily News report, Brooklyn resident Derick Bowers launched a petition requesting Jay Z to end his partnership with Barneys New York. Bowers said he wants Jay Z to cut ties with Barneys because the retailer’s actions show that “they have no connection with the young, black Hip Hop community.”
In an interview Bowers says, “I’m not personally attacking Jay Z. This attack is really at Barneys. What I’m asking from him is to withdraw that partnership to let them know we have that power, and you can’t take that from us.”
Jay Z’s full statement on the matter is as follows:
“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”