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Versace Faces Racial Discrimination Charges for Allegedly Using Code Word to Profile Black Shoppers

BellaNaija.com

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Italian design brand, Versace, is facing some charges for using a secret code to alert workers when an African American person enters the store. A former employee who experienced this firsthand is suing the brand for unpaid wages and damages.

In the lawsuit, Christopher Sampiro, 23, claims that the employees at the Bay Area Versace store used the code word ‘D410’ to casually let each other know when a black person walked into the store. The same code is also used in identifying all black clothing.

The Plantiff, who self-identifies himself as one-quarter African American replied his manager when he became aware of this practice by asking, “You know that I’m African American ?” After this occurrence, Sampiro claims he was denied rest breaks and a “legitimate” training. He was fired two weeks later.

The management told Sampiro that he was laid off because he hadn’t “lived the luxury life” as stated in the lawsuit.

Versace has denied the allegations and filed a request for dismissal of the suit. Though this is not the first time the Italian fashion house has been accused of similar questionable actions related to race.

The brand’s ad campaign for Fall 2016 got a lot of criticism which featured Gigi Hadid. The model was showcased as a matriarch of an interracial family. With the 2-year-old model depicted as a mother of two small children. One of the black children, appeared to be strapped into its stroller with a metal chain.

In reaction to the observation and criticism, Versace released a statement saying that: “The campaign is made of a series of tableaux, some real-life and some fantastical. One part of the story is very glamorous, almost a fantasy, a kind of dream. The other part of the story is the same people but in their real lives”

This isn’t the first time this is happening in the world of fashion, another brand accused of same questionable actions related to race is Zara.

Source: Allure

29 Comments

  1. Iris

    December 27, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Lol and we are falling over ourselves to claim that we can buy and wear International designer items. If only Nigerian designers could put their capital and customer service where their mouth is.

  2. Omo lara zion

    December 27, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    I’m so pained, will this ever stop?

    • Ekoatheist

      December 28, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Maybe 1000 years from now when we no longer hate ourselves and quit with the worship of Eurocentric culture and lifestyle.

  3. Omo lara zion

    December 27, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    I’m so pained, will this ever stop?

  4. Lilly

    December 27, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    When will we learn really. They don’t respect us and they laugh. Yet we move heaven and hurt to buy their product

  5. olajumoke

    December 27, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Blacks need to be united on all fronts…let us start looking inward and be the best we can be,,, am sure some blacks will still go and buy this brand after all this nonsense!

  6. Dodo

    December 27, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    If we boycott Versace because “they don’t like us”, then we better be prepared to boycott almost every damn thing associated with modern living on this earth, including the phone/tablet/notebook that you are typing from. Because, when push comes to shove, they all don’t like us.

    • James

      December 27, 2016 at 11:20 pm

      So what do you suggest we should do, nothing perhaps?

    • Bridget

      December 28, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Dodo, its unfortunate that u are comparing luxury items with the necessities of the present age. Can u do without a phone? How many deals have u concluded using these tech items? I don’t blame these designers, its the black patronizing them that i blame

  7. Rose

    December 27, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    I’m more surprised that Versace still exits.

    • John

      December 28, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      F**k the faggot label. Can’t imagine queers discriminating.

  8. Emma

    December 28, 2016 at 1:26 am

    And we have those simple brained rappers bragging about wearing these designers. I always laugh at black people who are so eager to spend their money on these racist designers.

  9. Temi

    December 28, 2016 at 1:34 am

    I only wear MY AFRICAN OUTFITS.. AND THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL… I have a good job and travel all the time. some of my African colleagues always ask me why i love all these African materials in dresses, coats, etc… the only things I buy designers are my bags.. which I buy online and deliver to my house. LET’S ALL BOYCOTT VERSACE AND ZARA AND ALL THESE BRANDS.. ZARA HAS BECOME SO CHEAP I TOLD MY DAUGHTER NOT TO BUY THERE ANYMORE.. ALL TRASHY.. AND MOST BRANDS ARE JUST THE NAMES.. PERIOD.. WAKE UP PEOPLE AND SMELL THE COFFEE.

    • EE

      December 28, 2016 at 1:41 am

      I agree with your general premise, but its funny because your African prints are likely made in China. You know, the Chinese, who have never ever ever been accused of racism.

      Anyways may we all one day be rich enough that our staff will accuse of of racism/tribalism/misogyny when we fire them.

    • Temi

      December 28, 2016 at 3:38 am

      NOP ! my darling my African Prints are handmade in Mali and sent to me in New York .. I design the tie dyed and give them to this lady who has shops in Mali. I also buy from Guinea and of course I have my Nigerian outfits, Ethiopian, Senegal, I mix and match and they are very originals BELIEVE ME. The materials are 100% home made” “”.. trust me daddy.””.. as my youngest boy says with a Jamaican Accent. I say: TRUST ME EE…

    • gosh

      December 28, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      wow, you must be rich.

  10. EE

    December 28, 2016 at 1:36 am

    1/4 African American, bruh…………………..

    The headline is begging the question, he is accusing a single Versace store, we have no way of knowing if its systemic. Second, this is an accusation, not fact. Third, to be frank I don’t care, my closest encounter with Versace was the Migos song. Coincidentally, guess who was just in Lagos?

    • Dawn

      December 28, 2016 at 2:32 am

      Don’t let anyone fool you, this is fact not fiction. I worked in Versace 20 years ago and they have codes for everyone that walks in. I think IC3 is the code for blacks. It’s universal across all stores. The security guard at the door will whisper 1 IC3 male with blue shirt etc describing your outfit, how many of you walked in and all security guards across the store will be on alert following you around and watching you on camera while you shop. They will do this until you leave the store. Even Nigerians favourite Chanel does for every black person that walks in. Nothing new here.

  11. aj

    December 28, 2016 at 2:37 am

    I agree with you all…lets start patronizing our African designers. They too should rise to the occasion and produce quality products.

  12. #MadeInNaija

    December 28, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Relax, if you fancy any merchandise, do not bother about the discrimination, just go ahead and get it if you can. Remember that some ”Mama Put” are very saucy and have bad attitude but we all still patronize them because of the good food. Danfo/Molue dem nko? we still board because of no alternative. However, change is the only constant thing in life…. All these petty behaviors will become history one day. Remember when NITEL was king, but where are they today?

    • nene

      December 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      gbam

  13. artklub

    December 28, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Protest with your wallet. The Personal is Political.

  14. Miamipattyfashion

    December 28, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Vercase mansion located on Southbeach I was treated very nice and with class me yson Becford Heavy D dined at the news cafe We never had any descrimination Queen Laifha took Pictures with our Models . Versace memorial was very diffculr time. Only want to let you know the truth Oscar De La Rentas apprentice fur Designer I worked at Bal Harbar for Neuman Marcus i did not tolorate treating colored people wrong in Fact I met Mr Mrs Nieman Marcus it not them all the Rop Designers inside Channel Loui vitunt Dunnyburk Gucci I Razia exclusive Hi Patricia Mechelle Collins Erikanders

    • Dee

      December 29, 2016 at 2:17 am

      “colored people” REALLY?!

  15. Miamipattyfashion

    December 28, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    reggae wear youth Models Sophia Akom Natilie Roserio Brian From embassy Bran US Brian Brazil When Tyson Beckford Saw my yellow Bikini in the store window thats when we all went ro dine Versace mansion at news cafe I walked uo the steps they lwt me in to admire his work and i wrote him a letter we also have Irene Marie modeling agency for exotic models we love you say me a d Dina had youths and My daughter kept her youngest girl who now is al grown up when Queen arrived she step out of a Cab and all the modelsgathered aroundher and we took photographs largest Hiphop convention and fashion show.

  16. Sara

    December 29, 2016 at 4:02 am

    Well… What else is new?

  17. Fashy me

    December 29, 2016 at 6:04 am

    I think this usually happens in high end shops like today I went into MaxMara shop off course almost all the shops are on sales and I know if I look well I might see something I can afford… My people immediately I stepped into d shop I felt like time just froze, I got this cold shoulder from d attendants unlike other shops u get the warm feeling, a little crack of a smile or an eye contact.. it felt odd I might be wrong though but something wasn’t right

  18. xtsy

    December 29, 2016 at 8:34 am

    the world is well overdue for a black owned luxury label

  19. MARGARET B.

    December 29, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    @TEMI Pardon me but I am puzzled, you buy all African fabrics and then buy designer bags to enhanced your look isn’t that deceiving. You are still using their product. Please stop been two face. You are contradicting yourself.

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